Nine players from the Big 12 were drafted in the first round of last month's draft. Don't look for a repeat.
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper released his first Big Board for 2011 on Wednesday, and only two Big 12 players made the cut.
12. Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
23. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
I can't say that's surprising. Like we've talked a little bit about here before, the shift in talent at the top of the conference now favors defense. Part of that has been the exodus of talent just in last year's draft. Some of the conference's best and most productive skill players are gone. Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley and the trio at Kansas, just to name a few.
That's not to say there isn't still offensive talent in the conference, but it's clearly not at the level it was last season. Ryan Broyles and Daniel Thomas don't quite have the same draw (or in McCoy's case, drawl) as two hometown quarterbacks like he and Bradford.
The talent that remains is also far from NFL-ready. Obviously, it's early. Amukamara and Williams could be gone from the Big Board by the end of next season. They could be at the top. Players like Thomas and Jared Crick might find themselves cracking it. But Kiper's at least established a starting point.