Ranking the best Big 12 football prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Of all the Power 5 conferences, the Big 12 produces the least amount of NFL talent. According to ESPN, there are only 132 Big 12 players on active NFL rosters. To put that in perspective, the SEC has 309 players, which is more than twice as many as the Big 12.
Despite the lack of talent compared to their peers, the South’s second-best conference still produces good NFL players. Players like Dez Bryant, Adrian Peterson, Earl Thomas, Gerald McCoy and Josh Gordon all played in the Big 12.
This season’s crop of talent is deep, but not top-heavy. I could easily see six players from this list drafted in the first round, but there isn’t exactly an absolute stud at the top of this class like in year’s past.
Last season clear-cut best player was West Virginia’s Kevin White; he was drafted seventh overall by the Chicago Bears. In 2014, the class was headlined by cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Jason Verrett who both found homes in the first round of the draft.
Two of the Big 12’s best players in 2015 weren’t even taken in the first round of the draft. Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett and Texas’ Jordan Hicks–both third round picks–played exceptionally well in the NFL this season. Hicks struggled with injuries, but he’ll threaten for a spotting spot on the Eagles next season. In Seattle, Lockett was one of three rookies to make the Pro Bowl.
This just goes to show that a player can be productive even though they aren’t picked in the first round. I made sure to watch at least three games for each prospect listed in this article. Although I believe stats and measurables are important, nothing can give more insight into a player than their film.
So, without further adieu, here are the top 10 NFL Draft prospects from the Big 12 in 2016.