PULLMAN – Luke Falk thought long and hard about leaving Washington State after his junior year, and it must have been bittersweet for the Cougars quarterback to watch last week’s NFL Draft and wonder when he would have been selected.
The early 2018 mock drafts indicate that most analysts think Falk’s decision to return was a good one. Toward the end of his junior season, Falk was projected by some to be a third-round selection in the 2017 draft.
Now, many analysts are projecting him to be selected in the first round, even though 2018 is expected to produce a bumper crop of quarterbacks with passers like USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and UCLA’s Josh Rosen all expected to be selected early in the draft.
An early mock draft on CBSSports.com projects Falk to be selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 20 overall pick and to be the fifth quarterback selected. USA Today also has Falk joining former WSU safety Deone Bucannon in Arizona, this time as the No. 18 overall pick.
SB Nation is another organization that believes Falk will be selected in the first round, this time going to the Buffalo Bills with the No. 24 pick.
While Falk is undoubtedly WSU’s headliner, he should not be the only Cougar selected next season. Cody O’Connell was a unanimous All-American at left guard as a junior, and has size that will undoubtedly be intriguing to NFL teams. Defensive end Hercules Mata’afa would likely garner interest if he were to declare following a redshirt junior season, as could senior right tackle Cole Madison.
Senior C.J. Dimry provides size and athleticism at wide receiver, and could catch the eye of an NFL team if he can stay healthy and productive for an entire year. Likewise, Tavares Martin will likely be Falk’s favorite target in the fall, and might have the option to leave school after his junior season to play professionally.
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