Experts predict another eventful NFL Draft for multiple Kansas State football players

Kansas State has become a team to watch in recent years at the NFL Draft.

After not producing a single pick in 2020, or making much noise in the six drafts before that, the Wildcats have gotten much better at sending talent to the professional ranks. Seven K-State football players have been selected over the past three drafts, with four getting picked last year.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah led the way as a first-rounder with the Kansas City Chiefs. Julius Brents (Colts), Josh Hayes (Buccaneers) and Deuce Vaughn (Cowboys) all followed.

That successful trend should continue this week when several more K-State alums are expected to be picked in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Former K-State offensive lineman Cooper Beebe and tight end Ben Sinnott both figure to be selected in the early rounds, with as many as six more potentially going in the later rounds.

Here’s a look at when and where former K-State players could be selected when the NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday:

Great expectations for Cooper Beebe

One of the best offensive linemen in K-State history is poised to move on to the NFL next season.

Cooper Beebe, a 6-foot-3 and 322-pound behemoth from Kansas City, figures to be a second-or-third round pick. Some experts predict him to go in Round 2. Others forecast him for Round 3. How long he waits may depend on how many NFL teams are prioritizing offensive linemen in this particular draft.

Beebe played both guard and tackle at K-State, but he figures to play only on the interior as a professional.

He could turn out to be a steal in any round during the second day of this draft. Although you never know how a prospect will adjust to the next level, Beebe is a smart and strong blocker who was able to make himself stand out as K-State’s best player even though he never touched the ball.

Ben Sinnott on the rise

This may sound hard to believe for anyone who has only been following Ben Sinnott since he announced that he would forgo his senior year at K-State and declare for the draft as an early entrant, but there was a time not long ago when the NFL seemed like a pipe dream for him.

Sinnott grew up playing hockey, not football, in Iowa, and very few college coaches recruited him coming out of high school. He actually planned to play at the FCS level until Chris Klieman stepped in late and convinced him to attend K-State as a walk-on.

That turned out to be a great decision for both sides.

Sinnott matured into one of the best tight ends in the Big 12, as he grew to 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds. He piled up 80 catches for 1,123 yards and 10 touchdowns during his final two seasons with the Wildcats. He had such a strong connection with quarterback Will Howard that the ball felt magnetized to his hands during certain games.

Now he has a chance to spread his wings even further in the NFL after running the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds and posting a vertical jump of 40 inches at the scouting combine.

His rise has been fun to watch.

Experts project him to go late in the second round or early in the third round. Any team that needs a versatile tight end could use him next season and beyond.

Keep an eye on these names in the late rounds

No matter what happens, K-State seems assured to produce at least two NFL Draft picks this year.

But that doesn’t mean the Wildcats will be done after Beebe and Sinnott are off the board. Many of their former teammates will also get a look in the late rounds or as undrafted free agents.

Can K-State top the number of four draft picks from last season? It all depends what happens with this group.

Khalid Duke: The 6-foot-4 and 246-pound defensive back made 102 tackles during his K-State career while playing both linebacker and defensive end. He figures to specialize as a pass-rusher at the next level. His athleticism could make him an intriguing selection on Day 3.

KT Leveston: He was never the star of K-State’s offensive line, but the 6-foot-4 and 326-pound blocker became a quality tackle at the end of his college career. Leveston was invited to the scouting combine and posted some impressive numbers. He also figures to be picked in the late rounds.

Hayden Gillum: Any team looking to add depth at center could be interested in Gillum. The former walk-on was a leader for K-State’s offense last season and he put up good numbers at Big 12 Pro Day. He figures to get a NFL look as either as late-round pick or an undrafted free agent.

Phillip Brooks: The 5-foot-8 receiver from Lee’s Summit closed out his K-State career by grabbing 53 passes for 589 yards and five touchdowns last season. His size could be a concern at the NFL level, but he has the speed to play at the next level. He is also skilled as a punt returner.

Christian Duffie: The Kansas City Chiefs invited Duffie and the rest of his former cohorts on the K-State offensive line to their local pro day. So he is on the NFL Draft radar after starting 41 games mostly at right tackle for the Wildcats.

Daniel Green: When healthy, Daniel Green was one of the best linebackers in the Big 12. He made 232 tackles during his time with the Wildcats and is now hoping to make the jump to the NFL.