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Looking into the Big 12's NFL Draft future

7/12/2011

Colleague Mel Kiper Jr. recently put together his top-five juniors and seniors at each position. You'll recognize plenty of the Big 12 talents on his list. Here's where they landed:

SENIORS

Quarterbacks

Running backs

Fullbacks

Receivers

Tight ends

Offensive tackles:

  • No. 1: Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State

  • No. 3: Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State

Outside linebackers:

  • No. 2: Travis Lewis, Oklahoma

  • No. 4: Keenan Robinson, Texas

Safeties

  • No. 4: Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State

A few thoughts:

  • I'm not the only one who keeps seeing the lopsided talents at the top on offense versus defense, right? Believe me when I tell you this, folks: Prepare for puntos mucho in the Big 12 this season.

  • I wouldn't be too surprised to see Fuller above Broyles on this list. Broyles is obviously a better college receiver, but he may find his size (5-foot-11, 187 pounds) to be a challenge at the next level, and NFL teams won't have the same concerns over the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Fuller. I see them both having solid, lengthy, productive NFL careers, but Fuller is slightly less risky. Also, against NFL corners, Fuller's size offers a bigger target for quarterbacks and a better red zone option.

  • Look at the offensive players who did make the list: Big 12 players were No. 1 at four positions and three positions had two Big 12 prospects in the top five. Not a bad senior class.

Now, the younger guys who will be draft-eligible after this season (not including sophomores with a redshirt season.)

JUNIORS

Quarterbacks

Fullbacks

Receivers

Centers

  • No. 3: Ben Habern, Oklahoma

Defensive ends

  • No. 5: Brad Madison, Missouri

Outside linebackers

  • No. 1: Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma

  • No. 3: Zaviar Gooden, Missouri

Punters

  • No. 2: Ryan Doerr, Kansas State

  • No. 3: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State

Some more thoughts:

  • I haven't really asked around about what NFL scouts think of Baylor's Griffin III, but this is the first time I've seen him show up on a list like this from our draft gurus, Kiper or McShay. Perhaps unfairly, Griffin's athleticism prompts some fans around the league to label him as a scrambler, but anyone who watched Baylor for any extended period of time last season got a clear look at how much he's grown as a passer from his freshman year in 2008 to last year's sophomore season following his 2009 knee injury. I'd expect it to continue, but could Griffin have a decision to make by the end of the season? He's told me he plans to stay for four years, but once the money starts to become more and more real, he wouldn't be the first guy to change his mind.

  • As for receivers, well, Alshon Jeffery over Blackmon? Strongly disagree, both as a college receiver and in regard to their potential pro careers.

  • Got 40 minutes to spare? Ask Bill Snyder what he thinks of Wilson sometime. You could probably keep him going for a few days. Players like Wilson are what Snyder is all about.

  • Very surprised to see Gordon on this list this early. I love his athleticism and his ceiling is absolutely sky high, but his production to this point hasn't been there. Don't be surprised if that changes in 2011, but I hadn't seen his name thrown out on a list like this before.