Imaginary 2016 Big 12 draft, Part I

As has become an annual tradition here on the Big 12 blog, we celebrated NFL draft weekend by conducting our own draft of returning Big 12 players.

Looking back on last year, we have reluctantly conceded Brandon won the 2015 draft. His defense featured a front of Charles Tapper, Andrew Billings, Hassan Ridgeway and Eric Striker to go along with a loaded secondary and some nice offensive firepower. I had a killer offense and Jake paired up Corey Coleman and DeAndre Washington, but our defenses proved disappointing. Here were the full draft results from 2015.

But we're moving forward and determined to dominate this imaginary draft. Trotter got the first pick, following by Chatmon and myself in a snake draft format. Remember, this is not a ranking of the Big 12's top players. We're picking the best possible teams from the pool of Big 12 players entering the 2016 season.

Rounds 1-7 are below. We'll resume with Round 8 on Wednesday.

Round 1

Jake Trotter: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Brandon Chatmon: QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

Max Olson: RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma

Analysis: This decision on the first overall selection actually came down to Mayfield, Mahomes and Perine, and I would've been happy with any of the three. Ultimately, I narrowly went with Mayfield, because of his proven ability to shine big in clutch moments. -- Trotter

Round 2

Olson: LB Malik Jefferson, Texas

Chatmon: WR James Washington, Oklahoma State

Trotter: WR KD Cannon, Baylor

Analysis: It was an easy decision to pair the Big 12's only returning 1,000-yard receiver with Mahomes. Washington has terrific ball skills and competitiveness that were on full display during his breakout sophomore season yet he still has plenty of room to grow. As I look to build an offense that allows Mahomes to be at his best, Washington's deep speed and big play ability will stretch the field in ways few other Big 12 receivers can. -- Chatmon

Round 3

Trotter: C Kyle Fuller, Baylor

Chatmon: DE Charles Walker, Oklahoma

Olson: CB Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma

Analysis: I wanted Mahomes at No. 3, but I'm not too worried about building an offense around the powerful Perine. But first, I've scooped up two of the Big 12's best young players to get my defense started. There's not really a surplus of proven stars on defense in the conference this year, so I think Thomas and Jefferson are even more valuable here. -- Olson

Round 4

Olson: OT Connor Williams, Texas

Chatmon: LB Elijah Lee, Kansas State

Trotter: S Steven Parker, Oklahoma

Analysis: With my second and third picks, I wanted to supply Mayfield with support at wideout and on the offensive line, and I took the best players available (Cannon, Fuller) at each position. With that done, I used my next two picks to anchor my defense with arguably the two best safeties in the league, beginning with Parker. -- Trotter

Round 5

Trotter: S Jordan Sterns, Oklahoma State

Chatmon: WR Allen Lazard, Iowa State

Olson: S Travon Blanchard, Baylor

Analysis: Lazard has made steady improvement since he stepped on campus at Iowa State. He's big, fast and better in the open field than most people realize (evidenced by his 19.45 yards per punt return) which should make the Lazard, Washington combination tough to handle. -- Chatmon

Round 6

Olson: WR Shelton Gibson, West Virginia

Chatmon: WR KaVontae Turpin, TCU

Trotter: S Denzel Johnson, TCU

Analysis: Turpin was going to be my next pick. Nice job, BC. I am comfortable with Gibson being the No. 1 WR on my team. He's an awesome big-play threat who averaged 24 yards per catch last season and 45 yards/catch on his nine TDs. I don't have a QB yet, but my QB will love throwing to Gibson. -- Olson

Round 7

Trotter: RB Mike Warren, Iowa State

Chatmon: CB Brian Peavy, Iowa State

Olson: OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma

Analysis: Once again, the Big 12 seems to be loaded at running back, which allowed me to wait all the way until Round 7 before picking up Warren, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards in his first season as a starter. That, as Mel Kiper Jr. would say, is called working the draft. -- Trotter