32 days to football: Who is WSU's top NFL prospect?

WSU Athletic Communications

We mostly focus on how they will perform in college, but who on WSU's roster do you think will have the best NFL career?

WSU hasn't exactly been a pipeline to the NFL in recent seasons, but that should begin to change. Mike Leach has started to bring in more talent than the previous regimes and a handful of players on the current roster could get looks at the next level.

In today's HCA, I linked a post from NFL.com covering WSU's top pro prospects. Deone Bucannon was listed as the top senior prospect with Gabe Marks and Dominique Williams the top underclassmen. All three are certainly talented, but I think you could make the case for a few players being WSU's top NFL prospect.

Bucannon should get a shot in the NFL and has a decent chance to get drafted, especially if he's able to be as effective in coverage now that he's added 15 pounds. Marks and Williams both have plenty of potential, but there is a lot of development needed before they are on the NFL's radar.

Assuming he keeps improving and avoids any more serious injuries, Darryl Monroe has a legitimate shot to get drafted and play at the next level. When it comes to who has the most NFL potential, I think I'd pick Xavier Cooper. He wasn't a dominant pass rusher last year, but at 6'4 and 298 pounds he has a rare combination of size and athletic ability. He could potentially play either inside in a 4-3 or outside in a 3-4 and has only scratched the surface of what he's capable of. He's a redshirt sophomore, so technically he would be NFL Draft eligible after this season. That seems unlikely, but with another two or three years of development, it wouldn't surprise me to see Cooper develop into an early NFL Draft prospect. There aren't many players his size who can also punt.

Cooper-punt_medium

Who do you think has the most NFL potential? Just know, that if you don't pick Cooper, he will find you.

Cooper-wants-your-soul_medium

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