- Max Olson, Big 12 reporter
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The Big 12's pro day slate wrapped up last week. With at least three likely first-round selections and many more out to prove they merit early round consideration, this is shaping up to be a solid year for Big 12 in the NFL draft. Who stepped up on their big day? Here's a look back at how the conference's top draft prospects performed, plus a few under-the-radar players to keep an eye on:
Kansas State (March 10)
Big name: WR Tyler Lockett. After running a 4.4 40 time and doing a killer job in shuttle drills at the NFL scouting combine, Lockett didn't need to improve his numbers at his workout. He did get another chance to show off that speed in pass-catching drills and reportedly impressed.
Sleeper: WR Curry Sexton. No guarantees he gets drafted, but he might end up being a hard guy to cut. Sexton proved his talent and work ethic last fall, and his measurables at pro day (4.66 in the 40, 32-inch vertical) should be good enough to help get some looks.
Oklahoma (March 11)
Big name: WR Dorial Green-Beckham, DT Jordan Phillips. DGB, now up to No. 16 in Todd McShay's newest mock, is safely inside the first round and performed well in agility drills to go along with his workout. Phillips, a borderline first-rounder, didn't need to improve his combine stats either but did show off his athleticism in drills after checking in at 6-foot-5 and 327 pounds.
Sleeper: TE Blake Bell. It's not a deep year for tight end prospects in the draft, but Bell continues to climb that list. He didn't need to participate in timing events after clocking a 4.8 in the 40 at the NFL scouting combine, but he did show off his progress as a route-runner and pass-catcher.
Oklahoma State (March 12)
Big name: DT James Castleman. Getting snubbed for a combine invite only gave Castleman more motivation, and he trimmed down from 315 to 299 pounds for his showcase. His testing numbers won't blow you away (5.4 in the 40, 4.67 shuttle, 25 reps on the bench), but Cattleman should get late-round consideration.
Sleeper: DB Josh Furman. The Michigan transfer stepped up at his pro day with testing numbers that would have ranked among the top five safeties at the NFL combine. The highlights? A 40-yard dash of 4.47 seconds, a 38-inch vertical and a 124-inch broad jump. That'll get him noticed.
West Virginia (March 13)
Big name: WR Kevin White. The No. 7 prospect in McShay's latest mock stood by his 40 time from Indianapolis (4.35) and didn't need to improve his testing numbers. He set out to prove he should be the first receiver selected with a stellar showing in his receiving drills, which were run by Bears receivers coach Mike Groh.
Sleeper: WR Mario Alford. He knew he was a lot faster than the 4.43 40-yard dash he ran at the combine. How much faster? Alford clocked a blazing run of 4.25 in the 40 during his pro day and showed scouts why he'd be an electric receiver and returner at the next level.
Texas Tech (March 13)
Big name: No likely early-round selections from this year's group, but the star of the day had to be WR Bradley Marquez. He ran a 40 in 4.52 seconds, showed off a 38-inch vertical and did a nice job catching passes from the scouts on hand, putting himself in position to be a potential late-round selection.
Sleeper: LB V.J. Fehoko. He hit 32 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, a feat only one other linebacker in the draft matched at the NFL scouting combine. Fehoko slimmed down to 223 pounds for his agility workouts and could be an intriguing prospect when he gets into a camp.
Baylor (March 18)
Big name: QB Bryce Petty. After months of working with George Whitfield, Petty put on a show with his pro day, completing 69 of 77 passes and showing he can make all the throws. Where he'll get drafted is still a mystery, but Petty did all he could to make his case.
Sleeper: WR Antwan Goodley. He didn't redo his 40 time (4.44) but did log nice showings in the vertical jump (35 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, 7 inches). Goodley had a few drops during his workout, but there's more than enough tape on him that shows an explosive target for the next level.
Texas (March 24)
Big name: DT Malcom Brown. With defensive line coaches from three NFL organizations running his rapid-fire drills, Brown was put to the test and did everything expected of a guy projected for the No. 23 pick in McShay's mock. He stood by his combine numbers.
Sleeper: WR Jaxon Shipley. He and fellow wideout John Harris didn't get combine invites, so shining at this pro day was a must. Shipley surprised scouts with a 40 time of 4.49 seconds. He spent much of his past two seasons banged up, but he's healthy now and that 40 time only helps.
<Iowa State (March 24)
Big name: TE E.J. Bibbs. He answered any fears about his offseason knee surgery with a 40-yard dash of 4.86 seconds and good performances in his vertical and broad jumps. Bibbs should be a mid-round selection and a valuable one.
Sleeper: WR Jarvis West. With 27 NFL reps in attendance, West ran a 40 of 4.36 seconds and produced a 38 1/2 inch vertical. Both would've put him in the top 10 among receivers at the combine. Not bad at all.
Kansas (March 25)
Big name: LB Ben Heeney. No need to improve on any of his combine measurements, though Heeney did redo the bench press and once again hit 19 reps. His position drills were run by a rep for the Cowboys, who are in need of linebackers.
Sleeper: DB Dexter McDonald. The guy isn't lacking for athleticism, that's for sure. He logged a 40 time of 4.42 seconds plus a 40 1/2-inch vertical and an 11-foot-2 broad jump.
TCU (March 27)
Big name: LB Paul Dawson. After disappointing at the combine, Dawson got back on track with a strong showing in front of three NFL DCs with a 40 time of 4.75, a five-pound weight loss and a performance in position drills that received good reviews.
Sleeper: CB Kevin White. You'd think he would be a little faster than 4.62 in the 40, but he sure does play fast. White was slowed somewhat by a hamstring issue but still displayed the ball skill that made him one of the conference's best corners.
Recapping the Big 12 pro days -- The conference figures to have at least three first-round picks.