2014 NFL Draft: Top 10 Big 12 NFL Draft Prospects
Top Big 12 2014 NFL Draft Prospects
As we continue our look at the top prospects from each major college football conference for the 2014 NFL draft, we take a look at the Big 12. In seasons past, the Big 12 has been ripe with top NFL draft prospects, but this year is a little different. While the league has lots of college talent across the board and there are plenty of young prospects, the draft-eligible talent for this season is, well, lacking.
Things are dire enough that as I begin to grade prospects on the verge of the 2013 season, only one player, TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, has a first-round grade. Several players have second-round grades, and several more with third, but the idea that there could be only one, and maybe zero players from a power conference like the Big 12 going in the top 32 picks is disheartening.
Breaking this group down to 10 was challenging, and several players made a strong case to be included. Some are more established, and others have plenty of potential but haven’t quite shown it on the field yet.
Kansas State offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas and Texas cornerback Carrington Byndom are the two players I can see making the biggest jump of those outside my current top 10, along with Kansas running back James Sims.
My sleeper player that just missed this list but might have the most NFL potential of any player from the Big 12 in the upcoming draft is Texas Tech junior right end Jace Amaro. He is an impressive athlete and even in limited reps, he screams potential.
So, let’s take a look at my top ten Big 12 prospects for the 2014 NFL draft.
10. Gabe Ikard, C Oklahoma
Ikard is a physical, experienced lineman who has had to deal with some injury issues during his career. His game doesn't stand out anywhere, but he has no real shortcomings and could put together a very good season in what looks to be a run-heavy Sooners offense.
9. John Hubert, RB Kansas State
Running backs in general are under valued, and Hubert falls in that category. He's a scat-back type of player who is a great fit for the Wildcats' offense. Hubert had a breakout season in 2012 in terms of touchdowns and will be counted on even more this upcoming season.
8. Mike Davis, WR Texas
Nationally, Davis doesn't get a lot of pub, but the 6-foot-1 speedster is well known in the Big 12. Davis only had 57 catches in 2012, but averaged 16.5 yards per catch. The Longhorn offense promises to be more experienced and efficient this year, and that could mean many more opportunities for Davis.
7. Ty Zimmerman, S Kansas State
Zimmerman is a throwback old-school strong safety. He's not going to wow teams with his athleticism or triangle numbers, but he is a great run stopper and smart football player who holds his own in coverage.
6. Aaron Colvin, DB Oklahoma
Colvin's game is a bit of a mystery. He shows flashes of elite play at times and looks out of position at others. This could have been a product of a very average Sooners defense or inconsistency in his game. Colvin has all the meaureables and with help on defense, there's no excuse not to play well this year.
5. Cyril Richardson, G Baylor
Richardson is a massive road-grading guard who is going to spend the year punching holes for that Baylor run game. He's not the most athletic and light-footed player, but he is strong and plays with excellent leverage.
4. Jalen Saunders, WR Oklahoma
Saunders is getting a lot of attention this season because his style of play is exciting. Saunders is one of the quick, agile wide receivers who is so hard to deal with in the open field; but he's very small, almost frail — so staying healthy is a concern, especially in the NFL.
3. Trey Millard, FB Oklahoma
Some may look at a fullback this high and think it's crazy, but the fact is that Millard is one of the best all-around football players in the nation. He can line up at a running back, lead block as a fullback, or work at a tight end/h-back type of player. NFL teams will be impressed by his football acumen and skill set, and will be wowed by his athleticism.
2. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE/LB Texas
If anyone could be sure that Jeffcoat could keep himself healthy for a full year, he'd likely be no. 1. He's an explosive edge-rushing defensive end/linebacker hybrid with all the tools the NFL covets. The key will to be if he can get through the season in one piece.
1. Jason Verrett, CB TCU
Verrett is the top senior cornerback in the country and the only first-round player on this list at this point. Verrett doesn't have elite measureables, but he's a smart, physical player with excellent fundamentals and a great work ethic. He has a chance to end up a top-15 pick come April.