Thursday, May 13, 2010
Pipeline potential among Big 12 teams
By ESPN.com staff
Only two Big 12 teams made the bracket for our NFL pipeline project this week, Oklahoma State and Nebraska. But ESPN Insider Chris Sprow took a closer look at the data, breaking down the production by decade.
Though the Sooners didn't make the overall bracket, if we had limited it to NFL production in the 2000s, Oklahoma would have been No. 5. They can thank safety Roy Williams, running back Adrian Peterson and defensive lineman Tommie Harris. Those three combined have been to 11 of Oklahoma's 14 total Pro Bowls this decade.
Mel Kiper also forecasted who will rise to the top in the coming decade. The Sooners topped his list after placing three players in the top four of this year's NFL Draft and sending another first rounder into the league in tight end Jermaine Gresham.
"We have to call them the clubhouse leader for this current decade, because remember, they have three of the top four picks of the first draft of the decade in Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy and Trent Williams," Kiper wrote. "There's got to be a few Pro Bowls in that group."
Nebraska's strong defensive presence on the field and sideline put the Huskers on Kiper's four-team list of "sleepers."
"Ndamukong Suh could rack up multiple Pro Bowls, and Bo and Carl Pelini could keep churning out defensive talent year after year," Kiper wrote.