Big 12 Trailing Power 5 Conferences in NFL Draft Picks After Three Rounds
After three rounds, the Big 12 is trailing the rest of their Power 5 conference foes in number of NFL Draft picks.
Here’s a breakdown by FBS conference through Round 3:
♦ SEC: 26
♦ ACC: 17
♦ Big Ten: 12
♦ Pac-12: 12
♦ Big 12: 8
♦ Mountain West: 5
♦ Conference USA: 3
♦ FBS Independents: 3
♦ MAC: 1
♦ Sun Belt: 1
By the way, when the AAC edged out the Big 12 in NFL Draft picks last year, the conference insisted they were part of a Power 6. What ever happened to that? Where are our friends in the AAC this year? Hmmm…
Anyway, certainly there is a clear drop off after the Power 5 teams, and maybe a better way to look at it is “picks per team” in each conference. Since the ACC, SEC and Big Ten have 14 teams each, and the Big 12 has ten teams, then there should be more players picked from those conferences. But it’s still the Big 12 pulling up the rear.
♦ SEC: 1.86
♦ ACC: 1.21
♦ Pac-12: 1.0
♦ Big Ten: .85
♦ Big 12: .80
After Baker Mayfield was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Browns, no other Big 12 players were taken in the first round. In fact, the second Big 12 player drafted did not come until Texas OT Connor Williams was taken by the Cowboys at No. 50. Where the Big 12 had its most success was a solid run in the middle of the third round, when from No. 76 to No. 89, several Big 12 players were taken with Mason Rudolph (Steelers), Malik Jefferson (Bengals), Orlando Brown (Ravens), Mark Andrews (Ravens) and Joseph Noteboom (Rams).
Sure, there is always an element of luck to this. Had Williams stayed healthy, he could have been a top 10 or 15 pick in the Draft. Also, the depth in the Big 12 Conference this season led me to believe that the mid-round is where many Big 12 players would end up being draft (which has been proven accurate thus far).
The final few rounds should prove better for the Big 12. Also, with the way the conference has been recruiting the past couple of years, there’s little doubt in my mind this gap will continue to shrink in the coming NFL Drafts.