Ranking the Big 12's NFL draft defections


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The Big 12 came out relatively unscatched in terms of projected early losses to the NFL draft. There were no real surprises, except for maybe the return of all of the Oklahoma players. But some teams still will be facing some huge losses.

Here's a ranking of the most significant losses in the Big 12 to the draft.

1. Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree -- Take away a two-time Biletnikoff winner and see if it doesn't hurt your offensive production. New quarterback Taylor Potts' development as a starter has just gotten a lot difficult. Projected replacement: Lyle Leong.

2. Missouri WR/KR Jeremy Maclin -- His value was best seen in the Valero Alamo Bowl when he turned the game around on one punt return. He'll be a big contributor in the NFL and one the Tigers could really have used next season. Bet that Blaine Gabbert wishes he would stick around. Projected replacement: Jerrell Jackson.

3. Kansas State QB Josh Freeman -- Even though he underachieved while in college, I think Freeman might have been ready to blossom while working with Andy Ludwig's offense if he had stayed for another season. It couldn't have hurt his pro development. Without that additional development, it will be interesting to see where he is drafted. But if the 6-foot-5 1/2, 238-pound Freeman lands in the right offense and is motivated, he still could blossom into a serviceable NFL quarterback. Projected replacement: Carson Coffman.

4. Texas Tech DE Brandon Williams -- An overachiever who really came on after arriving in college, he likely could have used another season to develop. His loss strips Tech of the Big 12's leading sacker in 2008. Projected replacement: Daniel Howard.