Going into the 2021 NFL Draft, I was not too confident that more than one Big 12 player would hear their name called on day one. Last year we saw a total of five Big 12 players hear their name called on day one. But Thursday night was the exact opposite of that.
Earlier this week NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks had his final mock draft with two Big 12 players being taken in the first round (TCU safety Trevon Moehrig and Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins). Yet the picks kept on coming in and by the time the first round ended, no Big 12 player heard their name called.
Was I shocked? Not really considering there was no true “superstar” pick the Big 12 had to offer. However, it doesn’t really matter what I think or feel because the perception of the Big 12 took a hit on Thursday night.
In fact, the Big 12 made history last night for all the wrong reasons. For starters, it was the first time ever that the Big 12 did not have a player taken in the first round. Ever since 1997, the conference has had at least one player selected in the first round and that came to an end. To make matters worse, it was the first time a power conference has not had a first round pick since the Big East back in 2006.
If you break down the first round, here is what it looks like among power five conferences.
|Conference||# of First Round Picks|
It is certainly not a great look for the Big 12 and it even looks worse considering the American Athletic Conference even had two first round picks.
Don’t get me wrong, this does not take away from the Big 12’s on the field success during bowl season or have any real effect on this season’s upcoming results. If you want to look on the brighter side of things, the conference will likely have two teams in the preseason top five and a few first round picks in next year’s draft. Depending on how 2021 shakes out, we could be looking at two top ten picks between Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler and Iowa State’s Brock Purdy. But until then, let’s hope we hear plenty of Big 12 players names called over the weekend.
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