Under the radar to NFL success: Big 12
You have expectations going in, but truthfully, you just never know how the NFL draft is going to play out. The good organizations know, however, that you can't construct a contender without finding high-impact player in the draft's final rounds.
Borrowing a page from our friends over at ESPN.com's SEC blog, who authored this thoughtful post earlier this week, here's a reminder why you shouldn't sleep on the late-round choices.
Here are a handful of active players from Big 12 schools who were not selected in their respective drafts' first three rounds but have still managed to develop into big-time talents, starters and contributors. The round they were drafted in is listed in parentheses, and FA indicates the player was an undrafted free agent.
- Wes Welker, WR, Texas Tech (FA, 2004)
- Darren Sproles, RB, Kansas State (fourth round, 2005)
- Brian Robison, DE, Texas (fourth round, 2007)
- Danny Amendola, WR, Texas Tech (FA, 2008)
- Justin Tucker, K, Texas (FA, 2012)
- Chris Harris, CB, Kansas (FA, 2011)
- Henry Melton, DT, Texas (fourth round, 2009)
- Charlie Johnson, OG, Oklahoma State (sixth round, 2006)
- Jeromey Clary, OG, Kansas State (sixth round, 2006)
- Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma (fifth round, 2013)
- Ahtyba Rubin, DT, Iowa State (sixth round, 2008)
- Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State (fourth round, 2011)
- David Hawthorne, LB, TCU (FA, 2008)
- Pat McAfee, P, West Virginia (seventh round, 2009)
- Matt Bryant, K, Baylor (FA, 1999)
- Josh Gordon, WR, Baylor (supplemental draft, 2012)
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