Thursday, March 14, 2013
Closer look at the Big 12 NFL draft board
By David Ubben
You're seeing pro days start to come and go across the Big 12, and the NFL combine wrapped up late last month. With all of that, there's plenty of shake-up in the position rankings from NFL draft guru Mel Kiper . Here are the Big 12 guys who cracked his top five at each position.
Geno Smith moved into the No. 1 spot for quarterbacks, ahead of USC's Matt Barkley. We'll see if that changes with a good pro day from Barkley, but Smith definitely has a shot to crack the top 10, especially after Buffalo cut Ryan Fitzpatrick loose on Tuesday and looks as if it's in the market for a quarterback with the No. 8 pick.
Tavon Austin secured the No. 1 spot with his huge day at the combine, sliding ahead of Cordarrelle Patterson. It's not quite a consensus if you look at other mock drafts, but Kiper's buying what Austin is selling.
Oklahoma's Lane Johnson is rocketing up draft boards now that scouts have had a chance to see what he can do athletically. He's No. 3 on Kiper's list of tackles, despite not being an All-Big 12 first-teamer a year ago.
Texas' Kenny Vaccaro is widely considered the most complete safety in this draft, and he held strong with a good combine performance. He's still at Kiper's No. 1 spot.
Oklahoma State's Quinn Sharp's recent rough pro day wasn't factored in, but he's still No. 4 on Kiper's list.