Campus Corner

The Star’s NFL Draft projections for former K-State players

Wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) doubled as an explosive kick returner for Kansas State.
Wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) doubled as an explosive kick returner for Kansas State. The Kansas City Star

Former Kansas State standouts Tyler Lockett, B.J. Finney and Ryan Mueller, a Leawood native, lead a group of former Wildcats who could hear their names called in this week’s NFL Draft. Here’s a look at where these former K-State football players could be drafted.

WR Tyler Lockett

5-10, 182, Tulsa, Okla.

Analysis: Most experts now project him to go in the first three rounds, and possibly help a team immediately as a slot receiver or a returner. At K-State, he caught 249 passes for 3,710 yards and 29 touchdowns and also totaled 2,684 yards and six touchdowns on returns. Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds at the combine.

The Star’s projection: Late second-round pick.

OL B.J. Finney

6-4, 303, Andale, Kan.

Analysis: A four-year starter for the Wildcats, Finney appears ready to take his game to the next level. Though the former walk-on played predominantly center at K-State, he could move to left guard or right guard in the NFL. That versatility, which he showed by playing three positions on K-State’s line, should make him an appealing plug-and-play prospect.

The Star’s projection: Fourth, fifth or sixth round.

OLB Ryan Mueller

6-2, 245, St. Thomas Aquinas

Analysis: His big junior year — 11 1/2 sacks — gave Mueller a shot a pro career, and he put up impressive numbers at his pro day. But he is changing positions from college defensive end to pro linebacker, and that’s not always an easy transition. Still, the All-Big 12 defensive end will get some looks.

Projection: Seventh round or free agent.

QB Jake Waters

6-1, 210 Council Bluffs, Iowa

Analysis: A record-setting quarterback at K-State, Waters has the tools to make it in the NFL. And he probably would have been a late draft pick had he not required surgery on his throwing shoulder after his senior season. But with little opportunities to impress NFL scouts over the past four months, he may have to win over coaches as a free agent.

The Star’s projection: Seventh round or free agent.

WR Curry Sexton

5-11, 183 Abilene, Kan.

Analysis: A 1,000-yard senior season convinced Sexton to try and make a NFL roster. He has the skills and brains to make catches at the next level as a slot receiver. He should at least get invited to a training camp.

The Star’s projection: Free-agent signing.

LB Jonathan Truman

5-11, 219 Kechi, Kan.

Analysis: After leading K-State in tackles as a senior, Truman will try to take his fundamentally-sound game to the NFL. At 5 feet 11, he lacks the size of typical pro linebackers, but the former walk-on should get an opportunity to prove himself at a camp.

The Star’s projection: Free-agent signing.

To reach Kellis Robinett, send email to krobinett@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @KellisRobinett.

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