Replacing the Big 12's top NFL draft picks

May, 2, 2013
5/02/13
4:00
PM ET
The NFL draft has come and gone, but who are the guys charged with replacing the league's top draft picks? Let's have a closer look at all of them.

Oklahoma OL Lane Johnson, No. 4 overall:

Oklahoma's depth along the offensive line last season was reduced to nil by the end of the season, but Johnson held down the left tackle spot for most of the season after playing right tackle for most of 2011. Next season, it looks like promising sophomore Daryl Williams is likely to slide into his spot at left tackle, but inexperienced senior Jake Reed might get in the mix, too. Sophomore Derek Farniok worked at right tackle this spring, but we'll see how new offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh handles the move.

West Virginia WR Tavon Austin, No. 8 overall:

It's hard for anyone to really replace Austin, who had one-of-a-kind change of direction and crazy speed. Sophomore Jordan Thompson looked like the likely heir to the position after a strong spring last year and a similar frame and shiftiness, but junior Connor Arlia showed up as the starter on the latest depth chart released by the Mountaineers. Was Thompson's huge spring game -- six catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns -- enough to change that?

Texas S Kenny Vaccaro, No. 15 overall:

There were rumors that cornerback Quandre Diggs might be making a position move to free safety, but those were quashed and a competition has emerged. Mykkele Thompson's 2012 had some low moments, but he and Josh Turner will likely both earn some time replacing Vaccaro, but the free safety starting job could definitely fluctuate come fall camp.

West Virginia QB Geno Smith, No. 39 overall:

Smith tossed 42 touchdowns to just six interceptions last season, but we'll see if WVU can replace anything close that kind of efficiency. For now, it has no idea who'll be the man to try. Dana Holgorsen said last week the competition was still "wide open" heading into the summer, and it just got a lot more complicated with the addition of Florida State transfer Clint Trickett. He'll try to grab a starting spot from Ford Childress and Paul Millard, who were underwhelming in the spring game.

Kansas State LB Arthur Brown, No. 56 overall:

Brown was the man in the middle for K-State's linebacking corps, but this is the most unpredictable among this group of replacements. K-State plays its cards close to the vest and may handle this a number of ways. Tre Walker was coming on as the weakside linebacker before a knee injury last season, and K-State could possibly slide him over. Five of K-State's top six linebackers who were healthy at the end of the season are gone in 2013. Jonathan Truman returns, but he's a little undersized to move to the middle.

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