Washington State Cougars draft prospects
Luke Falk QB
The red shirt senior out of Logan, UT had a heck of a career at WSU. With a perfect 6’4 build and quick release, Falk made a name for himself with gritty play and earned the starting QB job, even though he was just a walk-on. Falk ran Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense perfectly, winning 1st team All-Pac 12 honors in 20115 when he was 2nd in the FBS with 69.45% completion percentage and led the NCAA in passing with 280.5 yards per game.
Falk would win many more accolades and in 2017 earned the attention of his peers by playing thru pain and still completing 67% of his passes for 3,593 yards and 30 TDs in 13 starts. Falk set several Pac-12 career records, including total offense, passing touchdowns, passing yards, completions, and attempts. Falk is highly accurate, has NFL height, size, and decision making. Falk’s mobility and propensity to wait too long to throw the ball could down grade him.
SSU’s Take: 5th round. Falk will be an absolute steal for a team who is patient. He can do what you need him to do, but he does need a team around him. He has been sacked 125 times and has some mileage on him.
Cole Madison Guard
The senior out of Burien is huge, at 6’5 and 308 lbs, he has proven impenetrable at times. Quick feet and good mobility are his M.O. after having earned All-Pac 12 honors 2 years in a row.
Highly recruited out of high school, Cole knows how to get out of his stance quickly and move to intercept oncoming defenders. He has great leverage and hand skills. Cole’s strength at the combine has some teams concerned. As well, his arm length is a bit short, meaning that he would need to stay at the guard position–tackle is not a position that he can play.
SSU’s Take: Cole will have his work cut out for him. The heart and desire are there as is the technique. The NFL is worried about his measurable and that will drop him to the 5th or 6th round.
Hercules Mata’afa Edge
Hercules was robbed of the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year award–this is coming from a Husky fan. Mata’afa was a bit undersized but he can throw down with any player that he comes across. The results speak fr themselves as he finished 2016 with 32 tackles–11 of which were for a loss. he had 5 sacks and in 2017 would become a consensus All-American winning 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 45 tackles. Hercules finished with 22.5 tackles for a loss last year.
Hercules is perhaps the toughest Cougar ever. He is a high motor individual who doesn’t take plays off. The problem according to NFL scouts again is that he is too small at 6’2′ 254lbs. This size works in the NCAA, but only a few in the NFL (Terrell Suggs) could make it work at his size. Is Mata’afa the next Terrell Suggs (sans the issues off the field?)
SSU’s take: Hercules is a star on and off the field. Whoever takes him will have taken a good risk in what we suspect is the 5th round.
Cody O’Connell Guard
At 6’9 and 363 lbs, every team needs to take note of this senior. Cody is not fast or a technical master in his craft, however, he is just plain huge. He blocks out the sun.
SSU’s take: Someone needs to take Cody and fast. I mean the 3rd round. However, he will probably drop. Much like Mata’afa, someone is getting a steal in the 6th or 7th round.
Frankie Luvu Edge
The senior from Somoa has turned some heads in the NFL draft. While not at the level of Mata’afa, Luvu has the attention of some scouts with his edge rushing ability. He lacks size and length but has heart.
SSU’s take: While heart doesn’t just give you a job, it does impress the scouts. Frankie is too small and too slow, and too everything else; however, there is room for him on special teams. Keep your eye out for him as a free agent signee.
Tavaris has done everything in his power to ruin his chances to earn a big payday. A poor combine score and getting kicked off of WSU has left him a proverbial “red flag” for teams interested in him. Martin has ball skills and separation skills. He can track balls and win the 50/50 ball. However, lackadaisical 40 times (4.8 x40) and his disruptive locker room presence got him cut from the team.
SSU’s Take: Martin is a guaranteed free agent. If he choose to fix his problems in the locker, on the field, and possibly off the field, he can fight to earn a job. Otherwise, Martin is a washout. The choice is his.