Thursday, May 9, 2013
Big 12 blanked on Kiper's '14 Big Board
By David Ubben
The Big 12 had three players selected in the first round of last month's NFL draft, but it could be an even quieter opening night next year.
There's a lot of football between now and then, but on colleague Mel Kiper's first 2014 Big Board -- that's his annual, ever-evolving list of the top 25 draft prospects -- there's not a single Big 12 player to be found.
That's got to be a concern. I'm betting a Big 12 player or two crashes the list by draft day 2014, but Big 12 expat Texas A&M landed three players in Kiper's top 25.
The good news for the Big 12? Five players from the league made Kiper's top 50 . Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk leads the way for the Big 12 at No. 34. That's pretty surprising, but the NFL draft is all about upside, and Seastrunk has plenty. He's clearly shifty and has the breakaway speed NFL teams crave. Kiper called him "explosive in space."
The usual suspects aren't far behind him. Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin checked in at No. 36. Kiper really likes what Colvin's done against receivers with size advantages. That's an obvious must at the next level.
Former No. 1 overall recruit Jackson Jeffcoat is at No. 38 on Kiper's list. I see Jeffcoat as the most likely guy to jettison himself into the top 20, and Kiper says Jeffcoat is finally realizing his potential. He's getting better for sure, but Jeffcoat made an immediate impact as a freshman. His issue has been injuries. Injuries to his pectoral last year and his ankle as a freshman in 2010 have prevented him from making good on that potential. Here's hoping he stays healthy this season.
TCU cornerback Jason Verrett was at the top of the Big 12 prospect list on Todd McShay's top 32, but he's all the way down at No. 44, fourth in the Big 12, on Kiper's list. He was the league's best cover man a year ago, and Kiper says he's "steady."
Another ESPN 150 recruit who showed early potential, Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs, is the league's last prospect in the top 50, at No. 47. There was talk he might move to nickelback this offseason, but he's staying at corner. Kiper wants to see more consistency from him.
There's some draft potential in this year's crop, but they've got a lot to prove. The Big Ten caught major flack for nearly getting shut out of the first round of this year's NFL draft. I don't expect the Big 12 to have that happen, but if there's any potential, it could be an ugly spring for the Big 12.