The Path to Playing Time for Defensive Pokes in NFL

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State had two former players selected in last week’s NFL Draft and several more sign as undrafted free agents. Let’s take a quick look at each defensive player and what type of competition he’ll be facing when he arrives at training camp.Vincent Taylor – Miami DolphinsTaylor put together a dominant junior season in the wake of Emmanuel Ogbah’s own early departure for the NFL. But leading his team in sacks and tackles for loss and leading the nation in blocked kicks couldn’t quite get him out of the 6th round. Still, I think he lands in a nice spot in Miami.Who’s ahead of him?The Dolphins gave up the most yards in franchise history last season and were 30th against the run. Tackle was a real need for Miami after starter Jordan Phillips has not quite impressed. The selections of Vincent Taylor and Davon Godchaux from LSU a round earlier are probably meant to push Phillips, if not divvy up some of his reps beside Ndamukong Suh.ProjectionWith some hard work in training camp and if he picks up the system quickly, Taylor could push for that third option alongside Suh, if not then he will likely get reps as his backup. Suh is somebody Taylor has noted he’s always looked up to.Jordan Sterns – Kansas City ChiefsSterns finished his OSU career as the leading tackler under Mike Gundy, reaching triple digits in that department each of the last three seasons. He’s a hard hitter with good instincts who may only a puncher’s chance to succeed at the next level.Who’s ahead of him?Headlining the Chiefs’ strong safety spot is five-time Pro Bowler, Eric Berry who shares the backfield with Rob Parker, Eric Murray and Daniel Sorenson. Sterns will be initially competing directly with the Chiefs’ 6th round pick, USC’s Leon McQuay III.ProjectionAfter watching him play for four years, I don’t know how you could bet against him. Sterns should make a roster and I think he will have a decent-to-good NFL career.Ashton Lampkin – Kansas City ChiefsLampkin spent a good part of his time in Stillwater fighting injury. After playing in every game as a true freshman and sophomore, Lampkin missed all but four games in 2014. He spent most of 2015 dinged up as well but still found his way onto the field. Can he finally stay healthy long enough to give himself a shot?Who’s ahead of him?The Chiefs roster has a lot of questions at cornerback. With such a deep corner group in this draft, many saw them taking at least one cover man. But they stood pat, spending the brunt of their resources on the offensive side of the ball. For Lampkin, he will need to fight for scraps in a group that includes Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson, DJ White and Terrance Mitchell.ProjectionLampkin has good size for an NFL corner but will have to show he can be technically sound as well as physical to stick on a 53-man roster.Lenzy Pipkins – Green Bay PackersPipkins was another in a long line of grad transfers to add depth to the Cowboys’ defense and gain a better shot at the NFL. He was a welcome cover man at a time of need for Oklahoma State.Who’s ahead of him?Cornerback is a need Green Bay addressed with their No. 1 pick (first pick of the 2nd round) in Washington’s Kevin King. Their very next selection was safety Josh Jones from N.C. State. With Pipkins, they add another body to throw into he mix to try to bolster a secondary that got absolutely lit up last year. Mike McCarthy is still having nightmares of Julio Jones in the Georgia Dome from the NFC Championship game.ProjectionPipkins will have the opportunity as the Packers featured former undrafted free agent Ladarius Gunter extensively at the corner last year. The need at the position could give Pipkins a leg up.last_img