Looking deeper in the upcoming draft

There's been some debate, but as the draft inches closer, it's becoming clear: Von Miller looks like he'll be the first player selected from the Big 12.

ESPN draftniks Todd McShay and Mel Kiper agree on that.

But they disagree plenty on the rest of the league. You'll need ESPN Insider to read their full comments, but the draft duo released their three-round mock drafts this week, and here's where the Big 12's players fell:


First round:

Second round

Third round


First round

  • No. 3 overall: Miller, to Buffalo

  • No. 5 overall: Gabbert, to Arizona

  • No. 16 overall: Smith, to Jacksonville

  • No. 24 overall: Taylor, to New Orleans

  • No. 31 overall: Williams, to Pittsburgh

Second round

  • No. 33 overall: Watkins, to New England

  • No. 42 overall: Brown, to Houston

  • No. 60 overall: Thomas, to New England

Third round

  • No. 80 overall: Oklahoma S Quinton Carter, to Jacksonville

  • No. 88 overall: Hunter, to New Orleans

  • No. 91 overall: Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray, to Atlanta

Some thoughts:

  • If you haven't figured it out already, this won't be a draft dominated by the Big 12 like last year's when the league had five of the top six picks and nine first-rounders. Part of that is only three players from the Big 12 (Gabbert, Smith, Williams) who left school early and a handful of others (Justin Blackmon, Ryan Broyles, Travis Lewis, Jeff Fuller, Brandon Weeden) who stayed behind.

  • I do find the disagreement between the pair on Kendall Hunter vs. Daniel Thomas interesting. McShay has Thomas going 75th overall, and nine spots behind Hunter. Kiper has Thomas at 60th overall, 28 spots above Hunter. In terms of pro prospects, I'll take Thomas, a balanced back who took a lot of punishment over the last two seasons but stayed healthy and avoided a lot of big hits. Plus, as a guy who's only been a running back for two years, he's got plenty of upside. I think both will have good pro careers, and Hunter had a better college career by a little bit, but if we're drafting for the NFL (which, you know, they are) give me Thomas.