The Big 12 produced at the very least one first-round NFL Draft choose yearly from its formation in 1996 till final 12 months’s draft. The 2021 NFL Draft got here and went with no single participant from the league listening to his identify known as on Day 1.
The Big 12 was the primary energy convention to not have a first-round choose because the Big East in 2006. Well, sadly for the Big 12, that doubtful distinction doesn’t seem like it’ll be going away.
The Big 12 is projected to be shut out of the first-round of the 2022 NFL Draft as soon as once more. The draft is unpredictable by nature, so issues can change, however most don’t view the Big 12 as having a first-round choice when it takes place in two weeks.
“I don’t really even think about that during the process because you’re evaluating individual players,” Kiper mentioned on a teleconference Thursday. “When I start thinking about it is when the draft is over. You go back and you recap everything and you say, ‘Wow, how’d the conferences do?’ I always mark that down — which conference, which school has the most first rounders, second rounders. You’re right it worked out that way again where the (Big 12’s) talent level wasn’t (up there).”
But Kiper and Brugler each mentioned the Big 12 has loads of NFL-caliber expertise. It’s simply not the premium expertise that groups are looking for within the first spherical.
Iowa State operating again Breece Hall, as an illustration, has first-round expertise. However, NFL groups have shied away from drafting operating backs within the first spherical in recent times. It’s merely a place that isn’t valued as extremely as a quarterback, offensive sort out, extensive receiver, cornerback or defensive finish.
“Breece Hall is a first-round caliber player. He’s just a running back,” Kiper mentioned. “He could possibly be a late (first-round pick). I don’t think so, but he could possibly be in the late first. He’d be the only one (from the Big 12).”
Kiper has Baylor security Jalen Pitre being the Big 12’s first participant off the board, going early within the second spherical to the New York Giants (thirty sixth general). He initiatives Hall to land with the New York Jets at thirty eighth general.
Brugler, in the meantime, has projected Hall because the forty third general choose within the second spherical to the Atlanta Falcons. He has Pitre going forty sixth general to the Minnesota Vikings.
Kiper and Brugler even have Oklahoma defensive sort out Perrion Winfrey projected as a second-round choose.
For the Big 12, it’s a fall from the place the league was just some years in the past. Oklahoma produced back-to-back No. 1 general picks in Baker Mayfield (2018) and Kyler Murray (2019). The convention had 5 gamers taken within the first spherical of the 2020 draft, together with TCU extensive receiver Jalen Reagor and TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney.
The lack of a first-round choose doesn’t imply the Big 12 lacks expertise, although, as Kiper and Brugler mentioned.
“It’s just the lack of premium talent that the Big 12 is struggling with right now,” Brugler mentioned. “They will be well represented throughout the draft, but probably not in the first round.”