The 2021 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After a lackluster round one, day two provided plenty of action as we finally saw some Big 12 names start coming off the big board. However, day three to me is always fascinating as this is where the bulk of the draft happens. The value on players goes up and you never know where guys end up going even when the draft ends. Here are my five thoughts from day three of the 2021 NFL Draft
Iowa State Running Back Kene Nwangwu
I am not sure many people saw this coming but who had Kene Nwangwu being selected in the fourth round? The speedster spent most of his time in Ames as a backup and rushed for a total of 744 yards at Iowa State. However, the Minnesota Vikings fell in love with him with the 119th overall pick. I did not expect him to be drafted ahead of Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard as he was the first Big 12 running back taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Oklahoma State Value Picks
First let’s start with running back Chuba Hubbard. Hubbard had a 2,000 plus yard season in 2019 and decided to come back to Stillwater for the 2020 season. Things did not work out like they did in 2019 and Chuba fell to the fourth round. Chuba has elite speed and I feel like the Carolina Panthers got a heck of a deal getting him in a late round.
Speaking of draft steals, how about Tylan Wallace going in the fourth round? A total of 18 wide receivers were taken ahead of him which is truly mind boggling to me. Of course, he fell in the lap of the Baltimore Ravens who continue to draft Big 12 players on offense. I also cannot forget about the New York Giants getting cornerback Rodarius Williams in the sixth round which may be one of the best Big 12 draft steals in the entire draft. Rodarius is a guy who could start as a rookie and it would not shock me one bit.
There was only one Big 12 quarterback drafted this year and it just so happens to be former Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger. He was taken by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round. I had no clue if he would be drafted or not, but he fell to a good team for him. Colts head coach Frank Reich is a quarterback guy so that should help Sam tremendously at the next level. I will say that I have a hard time seeing him as an NFL starter one day but hey, the last Texas quarterback to get drafted was Colt McCoy back in 2010 and he is still in the league.
Free Agent Signings
Unfortunately, some there are plenty of guys who go undrafted however, this can work to your advantage if multiple teams are interested in you. You can sometimes pick where you want to go and here are some notable Big 12 players who signed after the draft.
TCU Safety Ar’Darius Washington: Baltimore Ravens
Oklahoma OT Adrian Ealy: Baltimore Ravens
Kansas RB Pooka Williams: Cincinnati Bengals
Oklahoma State LB Calvin Bundage: Pittsburgh Steelers
West Virginia DT Darius Stills: Las Vegas Raiders
Oklahoma State WR Dillon Stoner: Las Vegas Raiders
Oklahoma State LB Amen Ogbongbemiga: Las Angeles Chargers
Texas Tech WR T.J. Vasher: Dallas Cowboys
Iowa State DE JaQuan Bailey: Philadelphia Eagles
Texas Tech DE Eli Howard: Atlanta Falcons
It was a fun NFL Draft and for draft fans like me, the seventh round is just as enjoyable as the first. Here is the full Big 12 breakdown of the 2021 NFL Draft by school. There was a total of 22 Big 12 players taken in this year’s draft.
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