Tuesday, May 30, 2023
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NFL Draft: Parnell Motley, Nick Basquine, Lee Morris among undrafted Sooners

None of the three former Sooners — Morris, Basquine and Motley — were selected in this weekend’s NFL Draft despite having pre-draft conversations or workouts with teams.

Despite an excellent senior season, Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley went undrafted this weekend. However, he has reportedly been scooped up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent.

A former 3-star recruit from Washington D.C., Motley peaked at the right time as the Sooners marched toward their fifth straight Big 12 Championship.

In his final year as a Sooners, Motley finished with 31 solo tackles and one interception. Alex Grinch, the first-year defensive coordinator who preached aggression and the importance of forcing turnovers, helped him improve from just one forced fumble in two years to five in his senior season alone.

Motley finished his career as a Sooner with 130 solo tackles and 176 in total. He had 7.5 tackles for loss and six interceptions.

“Parnell came from some tough things that have happened in his life,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said of his former cornerback. “Things that have not [always] went his way.”

Making an NFL roster is never easy. The Sooners didn’t have any player picked after four OU players — wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, linebacker Kenneth Murray, quarterback Jalen Hurts and defensive tackle Neville Gallimore — were picked over the first two days. Morris, Basquine and Motley after not being selected in NFL draft, they’ll pivot as undrafted free agents.

Former Sooner defensive back Tony Jefferson has become a poster child for being undrafted free agent. He signed as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals and spent four years there. Then came the big payoff — a $36 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017.

“When you play football since you’re 4 years old, your main objective for most kids is you want to go to the NFL when you’re older,” Jefferson told the Ravens the day he signed. “To get to the NFL, you want to get drafted. I didn’t. That still hurts, and it haunts me to this day.”

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