Two key Big 12 players and perhaps the top prospect available have declared for NFL's supplemental draft next week.
Several sources have confirmed that Texas Tech defensive end McKinner Dixon and Kansas State wide receiver Deon Murphy will be among the pool of eligible players when the draft is conducted on Thursday.
Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon, who performed well enough during his Thursday pro day-style session for representatives from 22 league franchises, also will receive strong consideration. Jarmon was listed at 6-feet-3 1/8 and 278 pounds for the workout and timed in the 40-yard dash at between 4.75 and 4.84 seconds.
Earlier this year, the NCAA ruled Jarmon ineligible for his senior season in 2009 after he tested positive for a banned substance. Shortly after that, Jarmon applied for and was granted admission to the supplemental draft. There is a consensus among NFL teams that he is by far the top prospect available.
Dixon, meanwhile, was counted to be one of Texas Tech's defensive leaders after notching nine sacks last season. But he was suspended by Texas Tech coach Mike Leach during spring practice for falling behind academically and was later arrested on May 31 in Nacogodoches, Texas, on charges of failure to have insurance and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.
If he would have remained in the Tech program, Dixon was expected to fill the role of the Red Raiders' top pass-rushing threat after 2008 sack leader Brandon Williams left school early to declare for the NFL draft.
"We wish him the best," Leach said Friday in a text message.
Despite his departure, Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts is comfortable with those players who are on the team.
"There might be some things we miss about McKinner, but we still have a lot of other guys," Potts said. "We've got some junior-college players who are going to come in and help us. Bringing those guys in with the players we already have, I don't think he'll be missed at all. We'll pick up where we left off last season and be even better."
Murphy has not been a part of the Kansas State program since before spring practice. He produced 37 receptions for 555 yards last season as the Wildcats' No. 2 receiving threat with Brandon Banks last season.
That season was a disappointment from his first season at Kansas State in 2007 after transferring from Coffeyville (Kan.) College. Playing opposite Jordy Nelson, Murphy grabbed 57 passes for 650 yards and was named as the Big 12's offensive newcomer of the year. He also ranked third nationally in punt-return average in 2007 and returned two punts for touchdowns during his Kansas State career.
Tim Griffin covers football for ESPN.com. Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer Len Pasquarelli was included in this report.