Sizing up the Beavs in the NFL Draft mix

KEATON KRISTICK

THE NFL DRAFT got underway Thursday and here's one for the books -- Idaho had more picks (1) in the first round than did USC (0). Oregon State and Oregon had no players selected, but that figures to change this weekend. QB Sean Canfield and LB Keaton Kristick are generally regarded by the cyberspace draft gurus as OSU's top NFL prospects. But could other Beavs jump up into the NFL draft mix?

Sure they could.

The buzz on Sean Canfield is for the middle rounds, on Kristick it's the later rounds. The Beavers projected to be on the fringes of the draft/undrafted free agent signings include WR Damola Adeniji, CB Tim Clark, OG Gregg Peat and DE Ben Terry.

The guess here is that out of that group, Adeniji might be the best bet for a sleeper pickup before the draft ends. Rounds 2-3 are Friday, while rounds 4-7 will be held on Saturday.

Adeniji was a dependable, clutch performer last season, with 57 grabs for 807 yards after the former walk-on earned his way to a full ride scholie. And in the measurement-happy NFL, Adeniji's 6-3, 215 pound size is a sought commodity.

The biggest knock against him is a perceived lack of quickness and speed, but his 4.53 in the 40 at OSU's Pro Day likely opened some eyes.

Clark was the Beavs' top corner last season but he wasn't quite "shut-down" caliber over his senior campaign, though he did lock the clamps down more than he's given credit for.. The bigger issue may be that he broke his leg and ended '09 on the mend. If there's one thing that has scared NFL teams off a potential sleeper, or at least dropper his stock in the past, it's been injury.

Peat and Terry, along with Clark, might be more likely snapped up in the flurry of free agent signings after the draft but they can't be ruled out as seventh round picks either -- NFL scouts are notorious for trying to send mixed signals of their draft plans, and free agent signings, to other NFL teams.

Along those lines, some think Kristick goes in the middle rounds.

Meanwhile, all Canfield did was complete 67.9 percent of his passes -- an OSU single-season record -- for 3,271 yards with 21 TDs against seven interceptions.

Canfield has prototype QB size at 6-4, but the knock on him has been arm strength. Two things here -- if you go to OSU's tape, you'll see plenty of Canfield deep balls with heat on them. Second, the list of successful NFL quarterbacks who didn't, or don't, have the strongest arms is a lengthy one.

Put another way, who would you draft -- Drew Brees or Jeff George?

Thought so.

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