By Big 12 historical standards, the 2013 NFL Draft will not go down as one of the more memorable ones. Twenty-two players from the conference were selected among the 254 players drafted by NFL teans over the three days and seven rounds of the annual draft of eligible college talent.
That is the fewest number of Big 12 players taken in the draft since the conference was formed in 1996 and the lowest total since 2004, when defensive back Roy Williams of Texas was the seventh player selected overall and the No, 1 pick of the Detroit Lions. Only 24 players were drafted from the conference in 2000. Thirty-five Big 12 players is the most drafted from the Big 12 in any one year, and that happened both in 2003 and 1997, the first year for in Big 12’s participation in the NFL Draft.
Lane Johnson, an offensive tackle from Oklahoma, was the first player from the Big 12 selected in this year’s draft, taken by the Philadelphia Eagles with the fourth pick overall. Two other Big 12 players – all-purpose talent Tavon Austin of West Virginia and defensive back Kenny Vaccaro from Texas – were also first-round selections. Austin was the eighth player selected in this year’s draft, the first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Vaccaro was taken by New Orleans.
The three first-round picks from the Big 12 is the fewest since 2008, when Aqib Talib, a cornerback from Kansas, was taken with the 20th overall pick that year by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Twice before, as few as three first-round picks have come out of the Big 12 (in 2006 and 2001).
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who many of the NFL draft experts felt would go late in the first round ended up as the seventh player taken in the second round, by the New York Jets, where he will compete with incumbent Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow at the quarterback position. Lineback Arthur Brown of Kansas State was also a second-round selection, by the Baltimore Ravens with the 56th overall pick.
Oklahoma’s Landry Jones was the only other Big 12 quarterback selected in this year’s draft. Jones went in the fourth round to the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 115th player taken overall.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, who finished third in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting, was not drafted, largely because he wanted to be considered first at the quaterback position. Listed at 6-5, 226-pounds, Klein is especially quick on his feet for his size, but he does not possess particularly outstanding passing skills. He signed as a free agent with the Houston Texans, where he is expected to be tried out as a tight end.
Another Big 12 player who a number of analysts thought would be drafted but wasn’t was Tony Jefferson, a safety from Oklahoma, who declared for the draft as an underclassmen. Prior to the NFL scouting combine, Jefferson was rated by ESPN.com as the fifth best safety prospect in the draft. Twenty-one safeties were taken in the draft, but Jefferson was not among them. Size may have been an issue – Jefferson is 5-11, 212 pounds – as well as a slow 40 time at the combine. Shortly after the 2013 NFL Draft was concluded, Jefferson signed announced that he had been picked up as a free agent the Arizona Cardinals.
Texas Tech quarterback Seth Droege also had a solid career as the man who pulled the trigger for the aerial assault by the Texas Tech Red Raiders the past two years, but did not get drafted by any of the NFL teams. He signed as a free-agent with the Atlanta Falcons. Texas Tech was the only Big 12 school that did n0t have a player drafted this year. In addition to Droege, three other Red Raiders promptly picked up free-agent deals: safety Cody Davis, with the St. Louis Rams and offensive linemen Deveric Gallington and LeAdrian Waddle, with the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions, respectively.
Breaking down the 2013 NFL Draft by Big 12 schools, Oklahoma led the pack with six Sooners selected, followed by Kansas State, Texas and West Virginia with three each. Iowa State and TCU had two players taken and there was one each from Baylor, Kansas and Oklahoma State.
By conference, the Southeastern Conference, not surprisingly, had the most players taken in the draft (63). The Atlantic Coast Conference was second (31), then the Atlantic Coast Conference (31). The Pac-12 was third (28) and the Big 12 and Big Ten each had 22 players selected. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas, New Orleans and St. Louis each picked two players from the Big 12. As far as position are concerned, wide receiver was the most popular position among the 22 Big 12 players selected in the draft. Eight wide receivers were selected. Defensive end and offensive tackle were the second most popular position among drafted Big 12 players. Three players each were taken at those positions.
Big 12 2013 NFL Draft Selections
1. Lane Johnson, offensive tackle, Oklahoma – Philadelphia Eagles
8. Tavon Austin, wide receiver, West Virginia – St. Louis Rams
15. Kenny Vaccaro, safety, Texas – New Orleans Saints
38. Geno Smith, quarterback, West Virginia – New York Jets
56. Arthur Brown, linebacker, Kansas State – Baltimore Ravens
74. Terrance Williams, wide receiver, Baylor – Dallas Cowboys
78. Marquise Goodwin, wide receiver, Texas – Buffalo Bills
92. Stedman Bailey, wide receiver, West Virginia – Seattle Seahawks
102. Josh Boyce, wide receiver, TCU – New England Patriots
103. Alex Okafor, defensive end, Texas – Arizona Cardinals
115. Landry Jones, quarterback, Oklahoma – Pittsburgh Steelers
124. Chris Harper, wide receiver, Kansas State – Seattle Seahawks
144. Kenny Stills, wide receiver, Oklahoma – New Orleans Saints
148. A.J. Klein, linebacker, Iowa State – Carolina Panthers
151. Joseph Randle, running back, Oklahoma State – Dallas Cowboys
153. Stanley Maponga, defensive end, TCU – Atlanta Falcons
156. Tanner Hawkinson, offensive tackle, Kansas – Cincinnati Bengals
186. Justin Brown, wide receiver, Oklahoma – Pittsburgh Steelers
204. Braden Wilson, fullback, Kansas State – Kansas City Chiefs
205. Stacy McGee, defensive tackle, Oklahoma – Oakland Raiders
239. David King, defensive end, Philadelphia Eagles
248. Carter Bykowski, offensive tackle, Iowa State – San Francisco Giants