Saunders drafted by Jets

Former OU WR Jalen Saunders

The third day of the draft figured to be good for OU, and the Sooners got the ball rolling early with Jalen Saunders.

As expected, the first two days of the NFL Draft weren't very eventful for Oklahoma. For the first time since 1997, nobody from the Sooners was selected in the first three rounds.

That all changed Saturday morning as former OU wide receiver Jalen Saunders was selected No. 104 overall to the New York Jets. Saunders was the fourth selection of the fourth round.

Saunders began his career at Fresno State and was a highlight waiting to happen with each catch, averaging more than 20 yards per catch with the Bulldogs.

He transferred to OU before the 2013 season and was ruled eligible halfway through the season. He played less than two seasons with the Sooners, but there's no doubt Saunders made a huge impact on the field and with the fans.

At 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, Saunders obviously isn't the biggest around, but he might be among the toughest pound-for-pound players in the draft.

His presence has been missed at OU as wide receivers coach Jay Norvell and special teams coach Jay Boulware both mentioned in the spring that you don't simply replace somebody like Saunders.

Saunders was named second team All-Big 12 last season by the coaches and earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors twice and also participated in the Senior Bowl.

Saunders caught 123 passes for 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns in his two seasons at OU. Combined with his Fresno State numbers, he had 203 catches for 3,085 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Where he might be the most valuable, however, is on special teams. Saunders was a threat every time he touched the ball on punt returns and took three back for touchdowns in two years at OU with 396 yards on 25 returns with the Sooners.

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