- David Ubben, College Football
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The NFL draft is done, and you can find some raw data at the bottom of this post, but here are a few thoughts:
You can see our thoughts on the first round here, so today, we'll focus on the rest of the draft.
What a nighmare spot for Geno Smith to land after a rough drop out of the first round. Sure, he might be able to earn some early playing time for the Jets, and it's not hard to see him beating out a couple of first-round picks in Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, but the Jets are a complete zoo with six quarterbacks on the roster, and Chaz Schilens (what??) and former TCU receiver Jeremy Kerley as their top targets in the passing game. Good grief. Smith won't be pressured to play early, but it's hard to imagine him walking into a worse situation as a rookie quarterback, with no one to really learn from, tons of distractions and a zoo-like atmosphere on a Jets team that isn't expected to come anywhere close to the playoffs next season.
On the flip side, how happy is Sam Bradford after this weekend? And how awesome is Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey getting to continue playing together? The Rams just gained an entire state as a fan base. You'll be able to see plenty of St. Louis games in West Virginia, I'm betting. Don't be surprised if both of those guys are starters in Week 1 for a team badly in need of receivers after losing Danny Amendola to the Patriots. Austin is obviously more physically gifted, but Bailey has great hands and knows how to play the position. You don't catch 25 touchdown passes on accident.
Meanwhile, great landing spot for Landry Jones, who stuck around Oklahoma an extra year, passing up a first-round grade from the advisory committee. He appeared to regress this year, falling back to the fourth round. Walking into a place where he had to start early with few weapons would be a tough spot for any quarterback, even though Jones, with four years of starting experience, would be as ready as anyone. Instead, he'll sit behind Ben Roethlisberger, and considering how much Roethlisberger gets hit, don't be surprised if Jones is forced into starting duty once or twice next season. On a random note: Jones' landing spot is a little funny considering his wife played with Roethlisberger's little sister, Carlee, on the women's basketball team at Oklahoma.
How perfect is Arthur Brown going to the Ravens? It's too bad he won't get to learn from Ray Lewis firsthand, but you can bet Lewis will have a hand in Brown's development. Brown is mean, fast and smart. That fits the Ravens perfectly.
Jerry Jones loves him some Big 12 offensive skill talent. Dez Bryant blossomed this season, but the Dallas Cowboys went out and grabbed running back Joseph Randle and receiver Terrance Williams, the league's top rusher and receiver. I don't see Randle as a star in the NFL, but a solid contributor. Williams, though, will be fascinating to see in an offense thin at receiver behind Bryant. Miles Austin has had health issues, and Bryant has, too. Keep an eye out for Williams to make a splash in an offense that loves to throw it around. Randle will be backing up a familiar face in ex-Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray.
Great fit for Kenny Stills in New Orleans. The Saints have several aging receivers there to teach Stills a thing or two, but enough passes to get him some early experience. I'm betting on Stills as a 1,000-yard receiver in Year 3.
Texas Tech was the only Big 12 team without a player drafted.
Very shocked to see Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson and Iowa State's Jake Knott go undrafted. More so with Jefferson, who left school early and had great physical gifts. ESPN had him as the No. 5 safety in the draft at one point, but he wasn't among the more than 20 safeties drafted. Very odd. I have to wonder what's going on there. Has to be something other than his physical skills. He didn't necessarily show a lot of improvement throughout his career, but he was an All-Big 12 talent who made 100+ tackles this season. More on the Big 12's notable undrafted players later this morning.
Not a good year for the Big 12 in the draft, with an all-time low 22 players drafted, but you also have to consider that it's just the second year that the league had just 10 teams. Texas A&M and Missouri had a combined eight draft picks, helping the 14-team SEC set an all-time record for draft picks by conference. By eight selections, of course. Generally, not a good trend for the Big 12. Most alarming: The SEC East and SEC West both had more draft picks than any other conference in college football. Good grief.
Here's the ranking of players drafted, by Big 12 team.
1. Oklahoma -- six players
2. West Virginia -- three players
2. Texas -- three players
2. Kansas State -- three players
5. Iowa State -- two players
5. TCU -- two players
7. Baylor -- one player
7. Kansas -- one player
7. Oklahoma State -- one player
10. Texas Tech -- zero players
Here are the conference rankings:
1. SEC -- 63 players
2. ACC -- 31 players
3. Pac-12 -- 28 players
4. Big 12 -- 22 players
4. Big Ten -- 22 players
6. Big East -- 18 players
Here is the full list of the 22 players from the Big 12 who were drafted:
West Virginia WR Tavon Austin, eighth overall, St. Louis Rams
West Virginia QB Geno Smith, 39th overall, New York Jets
Kansas State LB Arthur Brown, 56th overall, Baltimore Ravens
Baylor WR Terrance Williams, 74th overall, Dallas Cowboys
West Virginia WR Stedman Bailey, 92nd overall, St. Louis Rams
Texas DE Alex Okafor, 103rd overall, Arizona Cardinals
Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, 115th overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Oklahoma WR Kenny Stills, 144th overall, New Orleans Saints
Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle, 151st overall, Dallas Cowboys
Oklahoma WR Justin Brown, 186th overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
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