Big 12 Players To Follow in 2022: Jason Bean, Marvin Mims and More
The NCAA Big 12 Conference will be well-represented again at the 2023 NFL Draft that’s slated to run from Apr. 27 to 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Quarterbacks C.J. Stroud (Ohio State) and Bryce Young (Alabama) as well as linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (also Alabama) are widely regarded as the top candidates to go first overall in next year’s draft.
Once again, the primary focus will be on the many can’t-miss players in the Big Ten Conference and the Southeastern Conference. But college football fanatics should also keep a close eye on these five players who reside in the Big 12 Conference for 2022.
Jason Bean (Kansas)
The 6-foot-3, 189-pound quarterback transferred to Kansas after three years at North Texas.
The Jayhawks will be one of several teams that fans in The Wheat State can bet on through Kansas sports betting, which is widely expected to launch late this year or in early 2023.
Through Kansas sportsbooks, new customers would be able to take advantage of several special offers that include risk-free bets (Caesars and FanDuel) and a free NBA jersey (through Thrive Fantasy) when they sign up.
Bean had an up-and-down year in his first season with the Jayhawks, and by no means is he guaranteed the starting job for 2022. If Bean doesn’t start out strong, the Jayhawks may feel inclined to either sit him or alternate with Jalon Daniels.
Bean had just six touchdowns against six interceptions a year ago, but he flourished as a runner with 402 rushing yards and two touchdowns). Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see how Lance Leipold sorts through a potential QB controversy as the Jayhawks look to rebound off a disappointing 2-10 season.
Bijan Robinson (Texas)
Many scouts and analysts have Robinson as the top-ranked running back prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft, and understandably so.
The Texas Longhorns star was a one-man wrecking machine in 2021, racking up 1,127 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Robinson, who averaged a ridiculous 5.8 yards per carry, also had 295 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Texas’ offense will once again run through Robinson, whom many expect to go in the first round next year. If he builds off a superb 2021 campaign, Robinson could very well be a top 15-20 selection next year.
Siaki Ika (Baylor)
The hulking 6-foot-4, 350-pound defensive tackle enjoyed a breakout year with the Bears in 2021. Ika transferred to Baylor following two seasons at LSU, in which he recorded only one sack and 2022 tackles.
But the move paid major dividends for Ika, who quickly grew into one of the nation’s top defensive linemen. Last year, Ika racked up four stacks but mostly stood out as an elite run-stopping force.
If the 2023 NFL Draft were held today, Ika would likely be a late first or early-to-mid second-round selection. If he can take his game to another level, Ika will be one of the first defensive tackles off the board.
Felix Anudike-Uzomah (Kansas State)
Anudike-Uzomah was instrumental in helping the Wildcats bounce back in 2021 following a disappointing 2020 campaign. The Wildcats finished 8-5 on the year, and they went on to win the Texas Bowl by dominating LSU 42-20.
The Wildcats’ defense will once again run through the explosive pass-rushing game that Anudike-Uzomah brings to the table. He broke out last season with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles, and the Wildcats could certainly use similar (or better production) in a stacked Big 12 Conference.
Marvin Mims (Oklahoma)
The Sooners star is poised to be one of the first receivers taken in next year’s draft.
With elite athleticism and high football IQ, Mims has the makings to be a multi-time Pro Bowler in the NFL. Last season, Mims averaged an incredible 22 yards per catch, finishing with 32 catches for 705 yards and five touchdowns. This came a year after Mims posted 37 catches for 610 yards and nine touchdowns which landed him Second team All-Big 12 honors.
Practically every NFL team could use a player with Mims’ dynamic skill set. Next year’s draft is loaded with elite quarterbacks, defensive linemen, and linebackers, but Mims already looks like a day one pick.
He can cement that with another dominant showing in 2022.