5 Sooners with tough decisions to make as the seasons nears its end
In a year where youth and a lack of experience has dominated storylines for Oklahoma, some of their more veteran players will be reaching a crossroads for their careers. Will guys like Marvin Mims, Anton Harrison, and Jalen Redmond opt to come back after a disappointing season for the team? Or was Saturday their last time playing in front of a sold-out crowd in Norman?
We decided to take a look at five guys that have some very tough decisions to make in the coming weeks.
Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Anton Harrison (71) blocks Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive end Garrett Nelson (44) during the game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The crown jewel of Oklahoma’s offensive line, left tackle Anton Harrison, came into this season with a lot of hype about his pro prospects. He delivered, anchoring the left side for Oklahoma’s offensive line all season long posting excellent grades in pass and run blocking.
A return to Oklahoma next year would be a massive boost for a team that could lose multiple players along the offensive line this offseason. While we speculate, it would seem Oklahoma has already thought about this and have a plan in place to entice Harrison to stay.
A report by Pro Football Network suggests Oklahoma has made an enticing offer to get Harrison to stay.
Across the board, Harrison seems a lock as a top 150 pick. Most draft sites have him no less than the 2nd round, and the pay scale for a second-rounder is plenty adequate.
However, another year of play like this would almost guarantee him a 1st round selection. Does he opt for the NFL draft, or does he take the reported NIL package and bet on himself one more year? Either way, Sooner fans should enjoy Harrison’s play the rest of the season.
Sep 10, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second half against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma’s best WR has not had the year we, and likely, he imagined. It was far from bad, but some concentration drops or errant throws from his quarterback have cost him some big plays.
He’s still a very good receiver with solid pro prospects, but considering he’s undersized with two seasons with middle-of-the-road numbers will probably push him away from the first or second round this year.
A return to Oklahoma and another year in Jeff Lebby’s system could help him have a more consistent season, helping him push for first round consideration in the 2024 NFL draft.
Woodi Washington (0) is pictured at University of Oklahoma media day on OU campus in Norman on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. Nathan J Fish/The Oklahoman / USA TODAY NETWORK
Defensive back Woodi Washington has only spent one year in this new defense and while the results haven’t been eye-popping, he’s not been horrible. At the same time, he didn’t really do anything to improve his draft stock.
Does he stay for one last year and bet on the entire defense playing better and improving his game under cornerbacks coach Jay Valai?
Long term, there may be questions if Washington would play corner on Sundays or if would he be better suited to play in a safety. Either way, he’ll have the decision to make after the season.
After dealing with a series of health issues, Jalen Redmond (31) returned at a crucial time for OU. The Oklahoman
Jalen Redmond represents another defender in a tough spot. Redmond hasn’t exactly ascended to new heights. However, what defensive player, aside from Billy Bowman, has?
Redmond could use another year to refine things and become an every-week difference-maker for an Oklahoma defense that can’t be as bad in 2023 as they were this year.
However, Redmond has fought off injuries and also is a father. Two significant developments that really could ultimately decide his path.
Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Jason Llewellyn (87) and Oklahoma Sooners tight end Daniel Parker (22) and Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman McKade Mettauer (72) and Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Andrew Raym (73) and Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) and Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Anton Harrison (71) and Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Savion Byrd (59) against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
After transferring from Cal-Berkeley, McKade Mettauer earned the starting job for Bill Bedenbaugh’s offensive line. After being an all-conference performer in the Pac-12, Mettauer hasn’t performed as such in the Big 12. Things started off rocky, and while they’ve gotten better, he has room to improve.
His years at Cal fast-tracked him to be a good mid-round guy, but a less-than-stellar 2022 may have halted that momentum. Coming back to re-establish his draft stock with a dominant season in year two with the Sooners could do wonders for his value.
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