striker TFB’s First Annual ‘Staff Picks’ (Round Two)

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Some of you that followed me here from my previous Internet stop may remember this feature, although we have decided to give it a different name. (But I believe those who are familiar with the previous version will still know what I’m referring to. If it matters, which it probably doesn’t.) It was something I started and figured we could continue on the tradition here at TFB. For those unfamiliar, this was an idea originally attributed to Baseball Prospectus and since then, there have been any number of variations derived from that original premise. It’s always a fun thing for me to put together and, of course, also offers all of you a chance to tab your own ‘My Guys’ and share them with us in the comments section. It’s also something we can revisit following the season to see how each of us did.

In an effort to avoid duplicate picks, we’ll go about our selections in something of a draft format. The beauty of this is there really is no set criteria for how you determine your picks. We’ll offer up a relatively brief explanation as to why we picked who we did (and you are welcome to do the same), but aside from that however you justify your picks is entirely up to the individual. You can pick someone who you know will play an important role in the coming season, or you can pick a guy who you believe others are sleeping on and could have a breakout season. Before they play a snap, there are no wrong picks. Generally, I’ve tried to pick the non-obvious guy who may be a little under the radar, or an up-and-coming underclassman perhaps. There’s certainly nothing wrong with taking a guy like Eric Striker, but it’s always struck me as a little Captain Obvious of sorts.

But don’t let that deter you. As I said, there are no wrong picks prior to the first snap. So with that let us get started. And after be sure to share your picks with us in the comments.

* Ed. note – We’re going to split this into multiple posts in the order in which we ‘drafted’ our picks. We’ll start with the first round, then second, and so on. We did a snake-draft (I’m going to assume the majority of you know what that means) with an order of myself, JY, then K.

Round One

Super K’s Second Pick: Eric Striker

Yes, I know this is an obvious pick. But I couldn’t leave one of my favorite Sooners undrafted. How can you not love Striker’s swagger? I expect Striker to take a big step forward this year. A few games into the season last year people started to realize they couldn’t block him one-on-one, so teams started using tight ends or backs to help protect the quarterback from Striker’s vicious pass rush. And that was an option last year because OU’s best interior pass rusher, Jordan Phillips, went down and Geneo Grissom & Charles Tapper were still developing their own pass rush ability. Additionally, OU didn’t have a second edge rusher.

In the nickel package, OU attempted to blitz Julian Wilson at times but it was never very effective. That’s just not Julian’s game. This year, however, there will be more pass rushers on the field giving Striker even more one-on-one looks and/or creating advantages elsewhere for his teammates if teams double him. We saw a glimpse of that towards the end of last year when Geneo started to come on. Striker and Geneo seemed to feed off each other and made life for the Crimson Tide offensive line very difficult.

Additionally, Striker has developed more pass rush tools. It’s easy to forget that last year was his first as a starter, and we saw how difficult Striker was to block in the spring. I was actually told by a friend that Striker was told to “go easy” in the spring game.

Last year, his role continued to expand throughout the season. We saw him drop into the flats and, if I recall correctly, we even saw him play some Tampa-2 technique in the Sugar Bowl. This season we may get to see him play some man coverage, but we know OU is going to continue to use him as a pass rusher. And if you thought he was hard to consistently block last year, this year it should be damn near impossible.

JY’s Second Pick: Taylor McNamara

When Taylor came in we all expected him to immediately be another Trent Smith or Jermaine Gresham. However, he’s a California kid who got a little homesick as a true freshman and that comes with the territory. After a redshirt, he started coming on late last year. He had a pivotal catch to get us a first down in the Sugar Bowl, then in the spring game he caught a few balls and a couple of touchdowns. As he gets more confidence, and it appears he has, he’s going to be a match-up nightmare for defenders in the Big 12.

Let’s face it, as a conference, the Big 12 is a finesse league. Defenses aren’t accustomed to having to line up against big sets and account for tight ends and/or a stout run game. With the improvements to the latter and an experienced o-line returning, the assortment of battering rams at the running back position, defenses are going to have to cheat up in the box to stop it. As a result, I think McNamara is going to get some one-on-one match-ups with linebackers and safeties that will lead to some big plays. He’s a good runner and natural pass catcher, and I think he’s going to be a household name among Sooner fans this fall.

Jordan’s Second Pick: Michiah Quick

You’ll come to see true freshman were somewhat of a theme in my selections. Quick may not have been the five-star recruit of his good friend and Cali counterpart Joe Mixon, but from what we’ve heard coming out of practices he was much quicker (zing!) to establish himself as a part of this 2014 OU offense. He, in part along with K.J. Young, was so impressive in fact the plan of Jay Norvell and Josh Heupel now appears to be to move Sterling Shepard outside, instead of in the slot where he was so effective last year.

To describe Quick as electric with the ball in his hands would be an injustice to electricity. However, he is just a true freshman and historically there has been a bit of a learning curve for first year wide receivers – even in a system set up to make stars out of guys in the slot.

He’s also a guy you could see on special teams, either punt and/or kick returns, with his quickness and ability to turn the tiniest of seams into a big gain.

As we said above, we’ll continue to post our picks round-by-round, but for now tell us and your fellow TFB readers who your second pick would be and why in the comments below.


  • Jordan Esco

    K really, really went out on a limb his second pick.

    • thedeez

      With enough talent on the outside, Quick could see a lot of 1 on 1 open field match-ups, which is exactly what we want. Solid staff pick.

      • Jordan Esco

        thanks

  • Zack

    My 2nd pick would be Jeffrey mead. In some game where things are not going right (maybe tcu) this kid is going to come up with a major catch and I’m gonna stand up and say “that’s my dude”

    • ratman

      I see Mead redshirting so good luck with that.

      • Zack

        That’s what I’ve thought for awhile but if DGB doesn’t get cleared then I think mead will get some time. His name has been mentioned often more so than Andrews and Todd.

        • ratman

          Only because of a couple of circus catches. Not big enough to play yet because you have to block and he is just not physical enough yet. He will be a good one when he fills out.

          • Zack

            I think he’s only going to get better. As far as blocking it doesn’t take a stacked dude to block a DB. There’s no way he’s thinner than metoyer was as a true freshman. And that was with metoyer having one extra year at a prep school.

          • ratman

            OK we agree to disagree. I still don’t think he plays this year!

          • Boom

            ratman, you at practice. Don’t think norvell would compliment him if he only made a couple of circus catches. Norvell doesn’t work that way. He has mentioned him multiple times too which means he’s in the conversation of possibly playing.

          • Zack

            This is exactly my reasoning. I think mead would play regardless of DGB if he came in during the spring unfortunately he didn’t so if DGB is eligible then I want to see mead next year.

        • Cush Creekmont

          I see it both ways – IF DBG is eligible, Mead is a RS, if not, I think his height and ball catching make him too valuable near the goal to have him sit…so i agree with both of you

          • Zack

            I agree if DGB is eligible then I want mead to get that RS if not then mead fills a big void.

  • Coach_AElliott

    My 2nd Pick would be Dimitri Flowers. Dude was an animal in the spring game and they were obviously trying to get him involved. Looking forward to a big season from the big freshman.

  • pitbull17

    I’m a little late to the party with travel and all, so my first pick is going to be Eric Striker. My second is going to be Geneo Grissom. I really don’t think anybody could go wrong picking any starter on the D to be honest.

  • ToatsMcGoats

    I’m going with Blake Bell as my second.

  • Kody K.

    I think you are going to have to wait another year for Taylor to break out, JY. The coaches and team is just too committed to Bell to succeed. Taylor will have a few moments, but Bell will be given most of the reps. Just my opinion.

    • soonerpeace

      They want Bell to succeed so bad it is crazy. Make no mistake he has looked good and has great hands but I think he has gotten the fairest shake in the entire Stoops era.

    • akryan

      I don’t know about that. The coaching staff are professionals. They’ll put in the guy that they think will give the team the best chance of winning. That might mean Bell or it might not, but I don’t think the coaches will play favorites when it comes to game time. .

  • Soonerfan24

    I’m going with Keith Ford. As a lineman, you love to block for a player with his nasty running style and his unbelievable work ethic.

  • Boom

    I realize this may be long shot since he’s not running 1st team but I’m going with Bond. I feel he will be in certain packages that will use his rushing abilities. If he plays with same passion from JC, he could grow into being a bigger part of the defense. That’s breaking out to me.

  • http://batman-news.com thebigdroot

    Dominque Alexander- another Oklahoma kid. He is just always around the ball and he missed a few tackles he shouldn’t have. I think this year he makes them and more.

  • Kody K.

    I am going to go with Chuka in round 2. A pretty reliable dude. Had 15 tackles against Texas last year. Wow! He is the kind of player that makes it possible for the other guys to make big plays. Got to give the senior some love b4 he goes. He is one of the unsung guys that get the job done.

    • Stats

      With everybody focused on Phillips and Tapper on the line, and Walker as the future, Chuka is likely to be the surprise!

  • Stats

    Julian Wilson for my 2nd pick. With his size and experience, I think he flourishes back at CB. Lots of people will be surprised because they’re not used to seeing him there. And the first few opposing QB’s will be in for a rude awakening when they try to pick on the “new” CB.

  • BR

    My #2 will be Grissom….I gotta feeling he’s gonna go off early on in the season cuz everybody will be concerned with Striker…Then they r gonna just feed one another along with Tapper, Phillips & Ndule and company…:-)))

  • JJsooner1

    My 2nd round pick is Samaje Perine. Guy is a tank on legs.

    • pitbull17

      Great pick right there, was probably going to be my 3rd pick.

  • Jeremy Phillips

    Derrick Woods…

  • OUknowitscomin

    Quick, was my hands down favorite recruit last year based on film. Coaches & players quotes since have only furthered that. We’ve lacked a WR with true escapability for some time (Saunders being the closest). Broyles, Stills…there have been some great ones for sure. But that actual ability to make people miss coupled with blazing speed is a rare combination. Those old Clayton running wild in secondary plays I miss.

    • Kody K.

      I think you are truly selling Sterling Shepard short. Watch his highlight reel and think it over. Keep in mind he is only a junior this year.

      • OUknowitscomin

        Believe me, I’m not. Huge Sterling fan & feel one of best we’ve ever had. While maybe not elite speed, it’s deceptive & very strong. His intangibles, like Broyles, make up for any speed. Always the guy who comes down with ball. I just think Quicks speed & elusiveness will stress D’s like a Watkins. They’ll focus more on him & allow Shep to have banner days even more. Win/win

  • longshot Sooner

    I will take Jordan Evens as my second pick I now have Phillips to glog up the middle and a freakishly athletic linebacker to clean things up…

    • Doobie74OU

      I smell a Parker/Thomas/Byrd pick coming in the third round and you will have the middle of the field completely locked down!

      • longshot Sooner

        You are 100% correct, however I’m torn between Parker or Thomas I’m really high on Thomas I think he will be a stud… but where do we not have a stud on D this year… I’m loving how athletic we are

  • Doobie74OU

    2nd Rd pick : Bit of a reach but I’ll take Dionte Savage. He is a huge nasty run blocking guard! I’m hoping that we are running the ball right down the throat of teams this year and this Huge Powerful Guard can make a huge difference with his push in the middle!

    • longshot Sooner

      Best Defense is a great run game on Offense, I really like Savage too he’s a monster! I like this pick Doobie

  • bjwalker82

    “To describe Quick as electric with the ball in his hands would be an injustice to electricity.” I believe you mean it would be an injustice to Quick. :D

    2nd I’d pick Sterling Shepard. One tough dude.

  • Gary Robbins

    2nd round pick is Matt Dimon. Not sure of the exact reason but anybody who blocks a punt with his helmet is my type of person (I think he’s the one).

  • The Walk on

    I’m going with Ty Darlington for my second pick. We’ve got a massive, experienced and talented OL but without quality leadership and direction they could underachieve.

  • Kevin Fielder

    Second Round: Jordan Smallwood…think he’s a star in the making. Waiting for his time with the lights on.

  • nick1895

    Tyler Evans I think he’s gonna be a monster out there opening huge holes making up for that lost time

  • j l

    Went D line with my 1st pick, so Ill go O line with my 2nd. Ill take nila. His versatility, and ability to play guard or center could be very handy this year.

  • ouguy777

    My 2nd pick is gonna be Ripkowski. Based on names for a fullback alone, how could you not? All the attention is on Flowers as the flashy new guy, but Rip has gotten it done and I think we lean on him a lot this year.

    Rd 1: Wade
    Rd 2: Rip

  • Josh

    Ok finally got a moment today. I think this guy might get drafted pretty quick if he played today…
    9 Days Till Football Time in Oklahoma!!
    # 9 on the list was a 2 time All American in 2003 & 2004… Finished his career with over 200 receptions, more than 3000 receiving yds, and more than 30 TDs.. Arguably the greatest WR in Sooner history… Mark Clayton! Boomer Sooner!

    • EasTex

      You sure kept us waiting, even if we knew who it would be.
      Mark Clayton, such a great player who had way too much fun at the expense of OU’s opponents.

      • Boom

        His moves were so similar to little Joe. Fun to watch.

      • JJsooner1

        Clayton was just unstoppable. Defenses tried everything including cheap shots to slow him down. For a guy not very tall, he always seemed to come down with jump balls. A true Bad a$$.

  • Ronald Keith

    I’m damn near drooling! you guys have made the offseason so much better.THANKS AGAIN! BRING ON LA TECH!!

  • J J

    Second guy…. Ford.

  • JJsooner1

    Question here: Can I change my first round pick to the God of health???:-)

  • Boomer4life

    Parker, enough said!

  • soonermusic

    Did you say how many rounds there would be? Anyway, I’ll go with Trevor this round. Since I picked Shepard and Knight last year as well, although you might call it “boring and predictable,” I’m gonna say, it must be loyalty to “my guys.” I heard there was a lot of “is he a one game wonder, will he live up to the hype” out there. :-)… But I do think, more than any one other guy, the difference between good and great on offense is gonna depend on his ability to make good reads and to make special plays in special situations. I’m a believer.

  • Dana Rogers

    Good choices all and enjoyed the reads.

    Now comes and leaves us the DGB thing sos w/ that in mind the smart answer is Mr. Neal… and would certainly be a good choice. But my under the radar pick at No. 1, wait for it, Mr. Derrick Woods.

    Number 2 on the countdown – Mr. Jordan Phillips. Not much of a surprise as it were w/ his talent, production, and all. Just think he comes back w/ something extra to prove… the word “beast” comes to mind and would not want to be the person in front of him come Saturday!

    Best of luck to all though and let’s get to the games already!