Once a hub for elite NFL talent, and home to some of the best QBs in the college games, the Big XII has fallen on hard times from a draft perspective. Much of this is owing to the fact that they lost 3 upper-tier programs to the Big Ten and the SEC…oh, and Colorado is gone. Nonetheless, there are still several prospects worthy of buzz heading into draft season. Today’s focus is on offense.
QB: Casey Pachall, Texas Christian
A player who has struggled to stay on the field due to drug-related issues and injuries, Pachall has a strong arm and a bad complexion. One of the things that is worrisome about Pachall’s chance of even getting a shot in camp is his prodigious interception rate, having only played five full games this season while tossing a whopping ten interceptions. Clearly, he has work to do this offseason.
RB: Lache Seastrunk,* Baylor
Perhaps the most dynamic back eligible, Seastrunk has legitimate burst, shiftiness and an ability to run through tackles. However, Seastrunk is comparable to Chiefs selection Knile Davis. While not as injury prone, or as large, Seastrunk has a similar blend of rare size and power, but does not carry the ball securely and can be limited on third down. Seastrunk will need some coaching but could emerge as the premier back of 2014.
RB: Damien Williams, Oklahoma
Williams, like Seastrunk, is quick and powerful. However, Williams struggles to utilize his power to break tackles, and is much more finesse than his frame would indicate. Coming out of the Sooner offense, Williams has good hands and experience catching the football to make him an asset to teams. Similar player to former USC back Joe McKnight.
WR: Mike Davis, Texas
A taller receiver who does everything well, but nothing great, Davis has been a four year starter for the Longhorns. Davis’ best trait may be his route-running, which isn’t exactly good in terms of upside, but he can contribute early on for a team desperate at receiver in the mid to late rounds.
WR: Tracy Moore, Oklahoma State
Moore is a stout, strong receiver, and is the rare breed of guy who will actually run block on the outside and be good at it. A guy with good hands a little burst, Moore looks like a reserve possession receiver.
TE: Jace Amaro,* Texas Tech
Amaro has the rare form of athleticism that can allow him to play as almost exclusively as a slot receiver in a college offense. Amaro has the best skills as a receiver among eligible TEs which makes him especially intriguing, along the lines of a Jimmy Graham or an *ahem* Aaron Hernandez. What he really needs work with is his inline blocking, but a team will likely want to pair him with another TE and play him off the line to maximize his athletic talent.
OT: Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State
Lucas is downright huge, being perhaps even taller than Seantrel Henderson at 6’9”. Naturally enough, Lucas has very good length for the outside, but will struggle to ever get leverage as a result. Lucas is a guy who is hard to project as an NFL player, because on one hand he has a rare frame, but needs a lot of coaching and refinement of his game to harness that ability.
OT: Donald Hawkins, Texas
Hawkins doesn’t have the elite size you look for when you imagine the modern NFL tackle, but he does bring decent athleticism to the position, which will allow him to hold up at least on the strong-side of the O-line. His best asset is as a run blocker and could find a niche in a zone scheme.
OG: Cyril Richardson, Baylor
A surefire first rounder in my book, Richardson has manned the blind side at Baylor but is a perfect fit for the interior in man-blocking power scheme, though he may take time to adjust to this style of play, as opposed to the pass-happy style in Waco. Richardson has rare size and strength, but could get lost in the shadow of the elite guards that have come out in the past few years.
OG: Mason Walters, Texas
There is a lot to like about Walters even if he isn’t a great prospect. Walters plays with passion and experience, which shows in his technique and on-field performance. He could benefit from converting some of his size into more power with an NFL training regimen.
C: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
Ikard has had a long successful career for the Sooners playing the pivot, which itself makes him an interesting prospect. However, he doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of talent. Ikard is a little undersized, is not particularly strong or athletic, and could stand to improve his football IQ and awareness. Center is always a difficult position to fill through the draft and as a result Ikard could hear his name called on Sunday of draft weekend.
Missed the cut:
RB: Joe Bergeron,* Texas
RB: Charles Sims, West Virginia
FB: Trey Millard, Oklahoma
WR: Eric Ward, Texas Tech
WR: Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
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