So far I've focused on players that will likely be drafted at some point in the 2015 NFL draft. However, every once in a while, underclassmen stand out during college games. That was the case tonight. The Tulsa-UCF game was brutal to watch; UCF won 31-7. However, it was a Tulsa player, not a UCF player, that wowed me tonight.
That player was sophomore WR Keevan Lucas, who made a really nice touchdown grab to put Tulsa on the board. In fact, it was one of the better catches I've seen at any level of football all season long. I'm not overly familiar with Tulsa players, so I did what any draft geek would do. I looked him up. And I think you're going to find him rocketing up draft boards in 2016 or 2017 when he declares.
The negatives on Lucas at this point are mainly his size. He's 5'10 and 198 pounds, and some draft "experts" will use his height to knock his draft stock, claiming that he is too short to succeed at the professional level. Many of these "experts," like Mel Kiper, have never played an NFL game. Know who else is 5'10? NFL receiver Antonio Brown. And Randall Cobb. Steve Smith is 5'9. So while you'll hear height bandied about as a criticism of Lucas, don't take that "criticism" too seriously. Look at what he does on the field.
And what Keevan Lucas does on the field is make plays. He had a modestly productive freshman year, with 32 catchs, 442 yards, and a TD. This season, as a sophomore, Lucas has exploded into statistical relevance. So far in 2014, Lucas has had 79 receptions for 1017 yards and 10 touchdowns. Is Lucas a game changer? You bet! 13 catches, 223 yards and 3 touchdowns against Tulane enough to whet your appetite? No? How about 11 catches for 160 yards and a TD against South Florida? Lucas has gone over 100 yards in 5 games this year, as well as over 10 catches in 5 games this year. The guy is an elite-caliber WR that is going to win some big awards and propel himself into the spotlight in the years to come. He's already made the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, and more awards will surely follow.
He's just a sophomore, but watch Keevan Lucas over the next couple of years. He will be a big-time draft prospect when he declares, and has the potential to make some NFL team very happy. Hop on the bandwagon before the big sites do. You won't regret it.
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