In the past at NFL Draft Geek we’ve done various College Football Previews leading up to the start of the season. Instead of doing team previews and doing more college football analysis, we’ve gone back to what we do best which is scouting and highlighting prospects for the draft. Listed below are our thoughts on the Big 12 Prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft and the 20 best prospects within the conference.
When you look at the 2018 NFL Draft Prospects it starts with Connor Williams who is the clear top prospect and is in a tier all to his own. Williams has the prototypical size, length and athletic ability that NFL teams crave. His ability to move laterally and mirror pass rushers can be compared to the likes of Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley from a couple years ago. The only question is that Williams at 288lbs needs to add some weight which can cause him to have some anchor issues at times and limits his power. But Williams has all the potential in the world and projects as a Top 10 lock.
The second tier of the Big 12 Prospects sees a heavy Red River Shootout contingent. Jordan Thomas looks like a typical press man corner who likes to get up on WRs at the line and turn and run with them using his speed and ball skills to defend passes. Malik Jefferson is a ultra athletic linebacker who has started since the day he stepped on Texas’ campus. Mark Andrews will remind a lot of draftniks of former Arkansas and now current Charger Hunter Henry in that he is a run and catch tight end that can control the middle of the field and is a mismatch for any defender.
A team to watch in 2017 that is loaded with underrated prospects will be the TCU Horned Frogs. LT Joseph Noteboom doesn’t get a lot of attention but has the lateral agility and hand usage to shut down pass rushers. Nick Orr is a versatile defender who plays the weakside safety position but skill set looks like he could play some cornerback also. Orr is quick to react to the ball flying down to break up passes and make tackles in the run game.
Two prospects that I’m not as high on as other draft analysts are Orlando Brown and James Washington. Brown is considered by a lot to be one of the best tackle prospects in this class and routinely mocked in the first round. However when I watch him I see a slightly better version of former USC RT Zach Banner. Brown is massive at 6’8 360lbs but he struggles with his movement skills relying too much on his length and size. Washington is a big play threat for Oklahoma State and has produced a great tandem with Mason Rudolph but I’m not sold he’s the first round prospect that others believe. To me Washington is a good deep threat but his inability to go up and consistently win at the catch point knocks him down in my eyes.
Here are the top 20 prospects in for the 2018 NFL Draft in the Big 12 Conference.
1. Connor Williams LT Texas
2. Jordan Thomas CB Oklahoma
3. Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma
4. Malik Jefferson LB Texas
5. Steven Parker S Oklahoma
6. Joseph Noteboom LT TCU
7. Orlando Brown LT Oklahoma
8. Nick Orr S TCU
9. James Washington WR Oklahoma State
10. Travin Howard LB TCU
11. Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State
12. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo OLB Oklahoma
13. Emmanuel Beal ILB Oklahoma
14. Kyle Hicks RB TCU
15. Ben Johnson TE Kansas
16. Austin Schlottmann C TCU
17. Taj Williams WR TCU
18. Taylor Young LB Baylor
19. Jalen Hurd WR Baylor
20. Allen Lazard WR Iowa State