Yeah, I think a lot of NFL scouts are down on Oklahoma defensive players. Derrick Strait and Brandon Everage both saw their stocks plummet in the months leading up to the draft, to the point that Everage, once was viewed as a 1st round pick (in the fall), then fell to around the 3rd/4th round (January), then went undrafted. Nicholson's stock may fall as well. Scouts think Oklahoma is too much of a system, and they are probably right. Among recent defensive picks, only Tommie Harris looks like he'll live up to his potential. Andre Woolfork has been a disappointment in Tennessee. He's not bad, but he hasn't been as good as expected. Lehman was alright in Detroit this year, but he was expected to be a force in the middle for years to come (their mistake however), but looks like now he'll have to stick on the outside. Torrance Marshall is a bust, Rocky Calmus has been outplayed by an undrafted guy (Brad Kassell) in Tennessee for the past 3 years. Jimmy Wilkerson just finally started to crack the Chiefs rotation a bit this year, but he's still pretty far down on the depth chart, and an overlooked rookie named Jared Allen outplayed him this year.
It will be interesting to see where Nicholson falls to in the draft. He could go as high as Round 2 IMO, but as you indicate he could slip all the way to Round 4 or 5 (or dare I say later). Which could be a good thing, cuz it could mean we could get a quality safety in the middle rounds, much like Lavalais last year.
It will be interesting also to see where his teammate Brodney Pool goes in the draft. Pool came out early, and I think unlike Nicholson has the potential to rise on draft boards.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.