This is the most talented roster head coach Lincoln Riley has ever had at Oklahoma. As a result, there is a legitimate chance they win the national championship next season. The Sooners have always had a heavy offensive roster, but they now have one of the best defenses in the nation. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has assembled a fantastic group. Not only does this team have a chance to win a national championship, but the Sooners also have a lot of talent for the upcoming 2022 NFL draft. Here are their top five prospects for the upcoming season.
Spencer Rattler, QB
It all starts with the quarterback for the Sooners. Rattler is the most electrifying player in the nation. He has a great arm and is fantastic on the move. Rattler can create outside of structure and is a big play waiting to happen. If he can be more consistent with his decision-making in 2021, he will put himself in the conversation to be the first overall pick in the draft. The Heisman Trophy also isn’t out of the question with Rattler. Former Sooners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray both won it in recent years, and Rattler arguably has just as good a supporting cast.
Nik Bonitto, EDGE
The Sooners defense is led by pass rusher Nik Bonitto. Bonitto is a standout on tape. He has incredible bend and extremely loose hips. Bonitto can get after the quarterback in a multitude of ways. His versatility will also be a plus at the next level. He can line up all over the field and is fantastic in coverage. When used as a spy, Bonitto displayed great awareness and explosion to get after the quarterback. It is hard to find players with his combination of pass-rush and coverage ability. In the modern NFL, Bonitto’s skill set should translate very well and make him a first-round pick.
Woodi Washington, CB
Even though he was a redshirt freshman last season, Washington was fantastic. He has very quick feet that allow him to mirror wideouts. Washington isn’t the biggest cornerback, but he makes up for it with long arms and the ability to change direction with ease. Based on his natural tools and tape so far, Washington should take a big jump next season. It is one of the better cornerback classes in recent memory, but Washington’s tape is worthy of him being a top-50 pick.
David Ugwoegbum, LB
In terms of upside, no linebacker is more enticing than Ugwoegbu. He stands 6-foot-4, 250 pounds and has vines for arms. Ugwoegbu moved from the edge to a traditional linebacker role and progressed significantly as the season went on. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him have a similar rise as Kenneth Murray. Ugwoegbu is way ahead of schedule for being so new to the position. There is a chance he ends up a first-round pick, and his potential should equate to a safe Day-2 floor.
Isaiah Thomas, DE
Due to players being out, Thomas was forced to kick inside to defensive tackle last season. He excelled there, but is best utilized as a traditional defensive end. Thomas is quick off the ball and has a knack for getting to the quarterback. He can dip around tackles and does a good job when it comes to cornering. Thomas has also shown that he can kick inside on pass-rush downs. Thomas has very good measurables and should test well. Teams are going to fall in love with what he brings to the table as a defensive lineman.