2017 Mock Draft: Temple Edition


Nobody gets through Dion.

A writer for The Washington Post, Neil Greenberg, was way ahead of the curve with his 2016 Mock Draft for the Baltimore Ravens.

In it, Greenberg had Praise Martin-Oguike, a defensive end from Temple, being drafted in the sixth round. There was only one problem with that. Praise Martin-Oguike was already committed to playing for Temple next season.


Too soon?

Oguike will be one of a number of Temple Owls, in our mind, drafted in the 2017 real NFL draft and we think he will go in the fourth, not sixth, round. Hanging around a former position NFL coach like Phil Snow for another year can only help his draft value.

Here are five Owls we think could be drafted and which rounds they will go to if they play up to their potential:


Jahad Thomas, Seventh Round

This is all incumbent on the Owls splitting Thomas out and using him at his position on the next level, which will be slot receiver. One of P.J. Walker’s problems in a sophomore slump, was that he was without his crutch and cosmic partner, Robby Anderson. With Anderson gone, he will need another receiver to mind meld with and Thomas—who has even better run-after-catch potential than Anderson—could be that guy. This will be their eighth year of football together. There is not a demand in the NFL for 5-10, 170-pound running backs. There is one for 5-10, 170-pound elusive slot receivers.


Accuracy and mobility

P.J. Walker, Sixth Round

There were three quarterbacks drafted in the sixth round by the NFL this season and none of them had as good a touchdown-to-interception ratio in their final year as P.J. Walker did in his penultimate year.  (Michigan’s Jake Rudock, Arkansas’ Brandon Allen, and Louisiana Tech’s Jeff Driskel were the three. ) After tossing 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as a sophomore, Walker improved those numbers to 19 and 8 as a junior. More importantly, he improved the wins from six to 10. He will leave Temple with every QB mark. He might be short, but he makes up for that with tremendous accuracy and he is very mobile and can get out of trouble to make plays downfield. If he can improve the wins from 10 to 11 or more, he will get noticed. Wins, that will be his most important draft number. If it’s 15 wins, he could go in the first round. Right now, we’ll settle for 11 and 6.

Praise Martin-Oguike, Fourth Round

This defensive end has all of the physical tools to be a dominating NFL player. For him to be drafted, though, he will have to stay on the field and have at least double-digit sacks. With guys like Greg Webb, Averee Robinson, Haason Reddick and Sharif Finch collapsing the pocket (not even mentioning what Karamo Dioubate’s roll could be), he could get those numbers.  If he does, look out.


One of 2 picks to the house.

Sean Chandler, Third Round

This prediction is made only if he is allowed to take his superior vision and route-jumping skills to the middle of the field, where he can come up with a lot of interceptions. So far, so good because it looks like Artrel Foster,  Kareem Ali Jr., Nate Hairston could have the requisite ability to hold down the other corner positions.  How many people know that Chandler is one of only two players in the nation to have multiple interception returns for touchdowns a year ago? Surely, the NFL knows. If he is able to duplicate that and add a half-dozen interceptions, he becomes a candidate to do exactly what Bernard Pierce did on the other side of the ball—get drafted in the third round and come out a year early.

Dion Dawkins, First Round

The guy who stands in the middle of the pre-game huddle and is a natural-enough leader to get the team around him when he does is “I play for; I play for; I play for  …. TEMPLE” chant will be playing for a first-or second-round NFL payday this season. He is the perfect size, speed and strength to be an NFL tackle and has the kind of nasty-knock-them-back attitude the league is looking for on draft day. How much he knocks back the Penn State line on Sept. 17 will be his most important film of the season.

Wednesday: For Pete’s Sake


14 thoughts on “2017 Mock Draft: Temple Edition

  1. players who get drafted from G5 schools share several key characteristics:
    dominant players in their league; remain injury free; and, have NFL physical attributes (size, speed, strength, quickness, agility, etc)…..,

    take a look at who made the 2015 AAC all-conference teams…, the best players on your team must be one of the better players in your league to get drafted for a chance to play on Sundays…,

    Temple had seven players make first team all conference last year, and Tavon Young would have made it if he were not such a great shutdown corner.., teams stopped throwing in his direction after the ND game

  2. Is it a good sign or an omen of 2 years in a row multiple guys of NFL quality will have left the program. Is the recruiting and player development keeping pace with such an exodus? I sure hope so.

    • Temple had 7 players make All-AAC first team in 2015, should have been 8 with Tavon Young….,

      can you count 7 Temple players who will make all conference first team in 2016?

      good news is the schedule is softer and we have seven home games so 10 wins or more remain a strong possibility

      • plus, the stats compiled against teams like Army and Stony Brook should be off the charts. NFL did not hold it against Noah Spencer (at 6-3, 252 roughly the same size as Praise) that he got a dozen sacks while playing for Eastern Kentucky. If Praise gets a dozen or more sacks, they won’t ask what his competition was, either.

      • The seven: Dawkins, Thomas, Armstead, Praise, Champ, Webb (if he gets on the field), Reddick. Likely? No. Possible? Yes. Only thing holding up P.J. is if Ward stays healthy. Don’t see P.J. beating out Ward and I’m a big P.J. fan (possibly the biggest).

      • PJ Walker, Kip Patton, Ventell Bryant, Dion Dawkins, Jahad Thomas, Praise Martin, Sean Chandler, one of the 2 young RBs, Robinson, Roddick, Finch, one of the 3 starting LB all have a great chance of being 1st team all AAC.

  3. Chandler will not come out early and he was picked on last year. This was the result of Young being so good but Chandler seemed to be a step behind talented receivers. Perhaps a move to free safety would help him but he was no lockdown corner last year. Unless PJ has a special year, he won’t be drafted. He is too small and lacks consistent accuracy and doesn’t throw the long ball well.

  4. this looks like a pretty good long ball to me:

    • PJ had a nice year, he averaged 17.8 attempts per game. This was down from the previous year where he averaged 31 attempts per game. He mostly took care of the ball, minimized mistakes and managed the game. I don’t see him making and or playing QB at the next level and I mean no disrespect. Lots of guys with great college careers don’t make it. He is not a great touch passer and we all know the throwing windows in the NFL are much smaller than anything he would have faced in college.

  5. all of the deep throws here are right on the money … I’ve seen every game P.J. played and don’t remember more than 1 or 2 deep throws he’s really misfired on … criticism of him as a deep thrower is really unfounded: Definitely one of his strengths:

  6. the start of 2016 will be very interesting, we’ll know after the third game if gamers can step up and replace the seniors of 2015…,

    Praise and Finch need to stay healthy and on the field…, hard to be great missing practice every week..,

    DT will be an issue all year.., look for more 5-2 or 3-4 fronts vice the 4-3 fronts of the last several years..,

    think it will come down to this, can we protect our QB and can we put the opposing QB on his butt?

    the AAC, outside of Navy, is turning into the fast and furious…., note all the emphasis on speed this past recruiting season…,

    seven home games is the meal ticket for 2016.., we need to get the fans out to the Linc

    • Meal ticket is a very good way to describe it. If we sweep our home games, we will be in the AAC title game and that will also be a home game. That game is the game we will have to put 35-40K in the stands and not allow Greg Ward’s teammates to hear his audibles from the line of scrimmage.

  7. One of the things I like about PJ is his “never give up” attitude. How many times in a series did the O go nowhere on the 1st and 2nd downs and then on 3rd down (sometimes 4th) he’d come up with a play for a first down or more. I got to a point where I sat there and said here we go again but PJ will do something on 3rd down – and he often did.

  8. after watching that kid needlessly take hits in an empty backfield all of 2014, he is the last kid I want to criticize. To me, it’s a tribute to his character that he is not shellshocked every time a pass rusher comes near him. In fact, he seems to relish the challenge to get away and make a play downfield. Really don’t like to criticize the kids who are not paid professionals yet. The paid professional coaches? What they did leaving him largely unprotected in 2014 is fair criticism.

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