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Evaluating Big 12 Players Selected in the NFL Draft

The Big 12 had 26 players selected in the NFL draft. I’ll hit some of the highlights here.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 had 26 players selected in the 2019 NFL draft, including some prominent guys who have terrorized the league for years now. In this post I’m going to review some of the bigger names, because 26 guys is too many to go in-depth on. Here is the full list, for those curious.

After each guy, I’ll assign a “Value,” which is where I’ll assign overdraft, undervalued, spot-on, etc. The NFL has consistently underrated and misunderstood Big 12 talent for years now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I think a lot of these guys were undervalued.

1st Rounders

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma. 1st overall. Him pairing up with Kingsbury might actually make me tune in to watch an NFL game. The guy was pure dynamite in college and exceeded most everyone’s expectations. Value: Spot-on.

Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma. 25th pick. Brown was a stress-test for every Big 12 defense. If you had a slow defensive back, Lincoln Riley was gonna find a way to match them up and make you pay. Despite the stereotype as a small but fast player, Brown has some good hands and even had a penchant for the spectacular catch. The only real worry is whether his stature makes him vulnerable to injury and if he can consistently blow by NFL defensive backs. I think he can. Value: Spot-on to slight-overdraft.

L.J. Collier, DE, Oklahoma. 29th pick. This was a true head-scratcher. After I saw this, I did some reading and apparently Collier blew-up at the combine. But what I could not believe is that he was selected ahead of far-superior DE on his own team, Ben Banogu. Collier was a solid Big 12 defender, but not amazing. TCU even toyed with LB Ty Summers at DE early in the year as an upgrade over Collier. A 1st round DL should be dominant, and Collier was not that. I’m not even sure he is that much better than a guy who went undrafted, Baylor DE Greg Roberts. Value: Significant overdraft.

2nd Rounders

Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma. Ford was the best OL on a dominant Oklahoma OL. Confession: I’m not an OL expert. Value: Spot-on.

Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State. Risner was steady as she goes for years at K-State. He also has positional versatility which is huge in the NFL. Value: Spot-on.

Ben Banogu, DE, TCU. Banogu is one of the best Big 12 defenders I’ve seen in the past few years. Lightning quick off the ball with great strength. He’s not just a pure pass rusher, but an all-around great player. He basically single-handedly beat Baylor this past year. Value: Significantly underrated.

Others of Note

Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor. 3rd Round. His positional flexibility put him over the top here. As a guy with 4.65 speed, he’s not going to be a deep threat, so he needs to improve his hands to be a reliable chain-mover. He doesn’t have amazing upside, but he does have plenty of room to grow. From a pure-tape standpoint, I think this is a slight overdraft, but given what we know about his work ethic and desire to be great, I think this was about right because he won’t bust. Value: Spot-on.

David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State. 3rd round. Montgomery is the only RB I’ve seen better at making one guy miss than Shock Linwood. Not a burner but doesn’t have to be. Apparently the advanced stats say you should almost never draft a RB because you can find plenty of good ones as UDFAs, but Montgomery is a great player. Value: Spot-on.

Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State. 4th round. What? How does this guy last til the 4th? He might’ve been the first WR I take from the Big 12. Pairing him up with Kyler in Arizona is scary. You’ve gotta think Kliff is loving this pick. Value: Significantly-underrated.

Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State. 4th round. Hill is a good all-around back. He made a good decision coming out early, because the guy behind him at Oklahoma State, Chubba Hubbard, is even better. Value: slight overdraft.

Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas. 5th round. A guy that Baylor wanted badly out of high school, I don’t know what the NFL is missing here. Omenihu tore it up playing a position that is not prone for highlight plays. He has a freaky long frame and can do some real damage. Value: underrated.

Duke Shelley, CB, Kansas State. 6th round. I wanted to point him out because he went to the Patriots, who really know how to use defensive backs. Every year they have some low draft pick CB who ends up starting by the end of the year. Shelley is undersized but does everything else well. Really good ball skills. Value: Spot-on.

Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma. 6th round. Early in his career at OU, I had trouble parsing out his skill vs. the OU offense making things easy on him. I became sold on Anderson. The level of power he runs with at his size make him scary. I know he had the injury but I would’ve taken him over every other Big 12 RB, sans maybe Montgomery. Value: underrated.

Kris Boyd, CB, Texas. 7th round. An undeservedly much-maligned player at Texas, fans got sick of him because he started for so long. I think he is sort of like former Baylor Bear Ryan Reid, but a better athlete. He has trouble with the ball in the air and commits stupid pass interference penalties. But when he is “on” he is about as good as it gets. On pure talent he is much higher pick, but there is significant bust chance here. Value: slightly underrated.

Ty Summers, LB, TCU. 7th round. Summers was around forever at TCU. Like many of Patterson’s great defenders, he was a former QB in high school. I think he is significantly undervalued as a pro. He has played several different positions and is well-schooled in the art of defending the modern offense. The NFL is still drafting “traditional” thumpers at LB and missing out on the value of guys like Summers. Value: significantly-underrated.

Derrek Thomas, CB, Baylor. Undrafted. I was surprised that Thomas went undrafted. For him to run so fast at 6-3 I thought he would be more highly valued. He has great potential as a cover corner, the question is whether he can be physical enough to get off blocks and defend the run. Value: slightly undervalued.

Greg Roberts, DE, Baylor. Undrafted. Roberts came on strong his senior year. Much, much better than anything he had shown previously. He has great measurables and a lot of potential. I’m not sure if he is undervalued since he only had one year of good production, but he has more potential than your average UDFA. Value: spot-on.

Lil’Jordan Humphrey, WR, Texas. Exhibit A for the NFL not understanding modern offense. Humphrey went undrafted presumably because of his 4.75 forty time, but he never was or going to be a deep threat so I’m not sure why this even mattered. Humphrey was absolutely killer abusing smaller defensive backs in the short to medium game, and I think he will continue to do so in the NFL. He has good quickness and a big frame, and he is a tough customer. Jalen Hurd has more positional flexibility and so I understood him being drafted higher, but I thought they were pretty similar prospects. Value: significantly undervalued.

Well, there you have it folks. I’d love to hear what y’all think!