The 2016 NFL Draft kicks off tonight in Chicago, Illinois, and both former WR Corey Coleman and Head Coach Art Briles will be in attendance to represent the Baylor Bears.
NFL Draft Schedule:
Thursday, April 28: Round 1 (see below)
Friday, April 29: Rounds 2-3: 6 PM CT on ESPN (until 7, then ESPN2), WatchESPN and NFL Network.
Saturday, April 30: Rounds 4-7: 11 AM CT on ESPN, WatchESPN and NFL Network.
How to Watch:
When: 7 PM CT.
Where: Auditorium Theatre, Chicago
TV: ESPN, NFL Network
Commentators: ESPN - Chris Berman, Mel Kiper Jr., Jon Gruden Louis Riddick | NFLN - Rich Eisen, Mike Mayock, Steve Mariucci, David Shaw
Online: WatchESPN, NFL.com/watch
I HIGHLY recommend you watch the NFL Network broadcast, if you can. Chris Berman is insufferable, and I wouldn't wish him on my worst enemy.
Virtually every sport site you might hope to grace this weekend will have some form of Draft Tracker available for you. That includes SB Nation, which will have it up on the Mothership, ESPN, and SportsIllustrated.com.
2016 NFL Draft Hub -- this is the place for you to follow the 2014 NFL Draft on the whole.
Dan Kadar's Final Mock Draft -- The last in a long line.
Dan Kadar's First Round Storylines -- What it says, basically.
2016 NFL Draft Order -- All 7 rounds.
I'm going to use this post as the start of a storystream for information on Baylor players, including little updates here and there. We'll also have an open thread for each night of the Draft starting tonight.
Baylor Outlook for the 2016 NFL Draft
As I said in the teaser section above, it appears that as many as six Baylor Football players could hear their names called over the next 3 days. That number does not include DE Shawn Oakman, whose recent arrest for sexual assault, combined with allegations that surfaced from 2013, could keep him out of the Draft altogether. The Baylor Six, in order of their probable selection:
DT Andrew Billings
WR Corey Coleman
CB Xavien Howard
OT Spencer Drango
WR Jay Lee
LS Jimmy Landes
Again, that list obviously does not include Shawn Oakman, who would have probably slotted somewhere around where Howard is now if the Draft had occurred two months ago. Taking each player in turn:
DT Andrew Billings -- Projection: Late 1st, Early 2nd
Andrew Billings Must Read
Andrew Billings Must Read
There's been a lot of talk about Billings recently in what could be an interesting Draft class among defensive tackles, where I haven't seen much, if any, consensus on who should go where. Dan Kadar ranks Billings 8th among defensive tackles in his rankings, which seems a bit low to me. But, as you can see from his latest mock draft above, Kadar isn't that big of a fan of Billings, anyway. From what I can tell of other places, it seems that most have Billings going in the late first, early second round between picks 20 and 40.
Best-Case Scenario: Round 1 | Pick 27 -- Green Bay Packers
I chose the Packers because they run a 3-4 defense and would slot Billings in at NT immediately after losing B.J. Raji. It's a bit later than he probably wants to go, but I see this as an ideal fit.
WR Corey Coleman -- Projection: Late 1st, Early 2nd
Corey Coleman Must Read
Corey Coleman Must Read
Like Billings, Coleman's spot in this draft has been the subject of much debate, mostly because of his size. Some seem to think he could be the best WR in the draft, some have him as far down as third or fourth. I thought we'd reached a consensus that he was a guaranteed first round, particularly since he'll be there tonight, but I don't know if that's true. My guess is that he'll be the third WR off the board after TCU's Josh Doctson and Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell, in some order.
Best-Case Scenario: Round 1 | Pick 22 -- Houston Texans
This would make a lot of our fans happy, I think, and give Brock Osweiler another weapon.
CB Xavien Howard -- Projection: 2nd/3rd Round
I could be way wrong on this one considering every round after the first is more or less a crapshoot, but I'm guessing Howard goes in the third. His stock has been rising ever since the season ended, and the reports I've seen from Twitter and elsewhere are almost uniformly very positive, including the below:
Lowest passer rating allowed when targeted among Power-5 cornerbacks in 2015?— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 27, 2016
That title belongs to former Baylor CB @FanTaStIK_Zae2.
I don't have nearly enough information to predict a specific team for him, so I'll just say that I hope the Cowboys can get him in the third (if they don't get Jalen Ramsay at #4)!
OT Spencer Drango -- Projection: 3rd/4th Round
It appears that the NFL loves the idea of Drango's versatility in that he could play guard or tackle at the next level, and the 4-year starter for the Bears had met with the Patriots, Texans, and Seahawks as of this past Tuesday. You could do a lot worse than those three teams, that's for sure.
I should note that there is apparently some concern over Drango's injury history with his back, and if he starts to fall in the Draft, that's probably why. I'm not saying it will happen; I'm just letting you know why, if it does. I hope it doesn't.
WR Jay Lee -- Projection: ??
I have no idea-- that's my projection. If some team falls in love with Lee after his Senior Bowl and Pro Day workouts, then he could go higher than you might think. If not, he could fall. But that's true of anyone. Like I said above, mock drafts for the later rounds vary so widely, it's impossible to predict. If pushed, I'd guess the fifth or sixth round.
LS Jimmy Landes -- Projection: ??
Nothing against Mr. Landes whatsoever, but I don't know if long snappers get drafted or not, even the best of the best. Most places I've read say that Landes will be signed as an undrafted free agent, or UDFA.
WILDCARD -- PF/TE Rico Gathers -- Projection: ??
One of the biggest storylines for Baylor in this coming draft will be if Rico Gathers gets drafted after not having played football in college for the Bears. Rico has gotten a lot of great press recently and is an obviously intriguing player, and I'll be watching to see if someone takes a late flyer to keep him out of the UDFA ranks. If you've seen any mocks that have him getting drafted, please post them in the comments.
The guys listed above are the ones that, in my estimation, have the greatest chances of getting drafted over the next three days. It is entirely possible, but improbable given the subject matter, that someone will decide to draft Shawn Oakman to get his rights in the hopes that he is later cleared. We'll just have to see on that.
In addition, keep in mind that other Baylor players not listed above could also be signed as UDFAs after the draft concludes. I'll try to get something up about them beforehand, but if I don't, we'll just track as we go.