2016 Big 12 recruiting draft: Round 1

It’s NFL draft week, which means dreams are coming true and lifelong goals are becoming a reality. And the return of draft week also means the return of our annual Big 12 recruiting draft.

What if Big 12 programs could transform their teams through a draft instead of the current recruiting format? We aim to answer that question with our recruiting draft, which grants the bottom of the conference first dibs on the elite talent in the region.

Any recruit who signed with a Big 12 school in 2016 is eligible to be selected, and the draft order reflects the 2015 conference standings. Jake Trotter is drafting for Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, Brandon Chatmon is picking for Baylor, Kansas, Texas Tech and West Virginia, and Max Olson will make the selections for Iowa State, TCU and Texas.

Here is Round 1 of our draft. We’ll unveil Round 2 on Thursday and Friday.

1. Kansas: WR Devin Duvernay

Signed with: Baylor

Chatmon: The Jayhawks need explosive playmakers on offense, and Duverney is the best of the bunch. The No. 42 player in the ESPN300 was hotly pursued by elite programs nationwide, a sure sign he could be an immediate difference-maker with his elite speed and open-field playmaking. Kansas needs someone who can turn a five-yard catch into a 75-yard touchdown. And Duverney is that guy.

2. Iowa State: OG Patrick Hudson

Signed with: Baylor

Olson: Iowa State's starters at left guard, right guard and right tackle all graduated. Good thing Hudson is probably capable of playing at any of those spots. He would be an instant starter for the Cyclones and a guy who would definitely help make Mike Warren's job easier.

3. Kansas State: WR Byron Pringle

Signed with: Kansas State

Trotter: Given the chance to do it over again, I would imagine Pringle would rank near the very top of K-State’s recruiting board, given what he showed this spring. Pringle was the star of K-State’s spring game, and has the look of a No. 1 receiver, something the Wildcats desperately need. Remember, despite being a junior college transfer, Pringle is just a sophomore, too.

4. Texas: QB Shane Buechele

Signed with: Texas

Olson: Considering what he accomplished this spring, of course I have to pick Buechele. Collin Johnson definitely might end up being the best player in Texas' class, so he would be a fine pick here. But this team still needs Buechele more. No need to overthink it.

5. Texas Tech: LB Jeffrey McCulloch

Signed with: Texas

Chatmon: De-Fense. DEE-Fense. That’s all the Red Raiders need to become a Big 12 title contender, so let’s see if McCulloch, the No. 26 player in the ESPN300, can be the Patrick Mahomes of the defense. He is not a exceptional coverage linebacker, but his combination of run-stopping and pass-rushing should make him a valuable player on Tech’s defense. And his explosive tackling would be perfect for David Gibbs' turnover-forcing style.

6. West Virginia: LB Caleb Kelly

Signed with: Oklahoma

Chatmon: Kelly is a perfect fit for West Virginia’s style, and fits a need at linebacker with the departure of Nick Kwiatkoski and others. His speed and athleticism allow him to make plays all over the field, yet he’s comfortable in coverage and has pass-rush skills. He’d be a perfect fit for a West Virginia defense that loves to blitz and create chaos in opposing backfields.

7. Baylor: S Brandon Jones

Signed with: Texas

Chatmon: Addressing the trenches is a priority, but Jones is just too good to pass up. The Bears could use another playmaker in the secondary. We’ve seen how a player like Karl Joseph can set the tone for an entire defense, and Jones might have similar ability with his aggressive, explosive nature.

8. TCU: WR Isaiah Graham

Signed with: TCU

Olson: I hate to be boring and make these chalk picks, but I get the sense TCU's staff isn't looking to trade Graham for someone else. I almost picked Derrick Willies to address the need at receiver, because TCU's staff did want him too. But Graham made a big impression this spring and has more years left than Willies, so he's the pick.

9. Oklahoma State: OG Brandon Autry

Signed with: Baylor

Trotter: Oklahoma State needs immediate help inside on the offensive line, and Autry was the No. 1 junior college guard in the country. I could have gone running back here, but Barry J. Sanders is joining the team this summer. The combination of Autry and Sanders would give Oklahoma State’s lagging ground game a major boost.

10. Oklahoma: WR Derrick Willies

Signed with: Texas Tech

Trotter: The one thing the Oklahoma offense is missing is a big, physical deep threat to complement the powerful running game and underneath receiving operators like Mark Andrews and Dede Westbrook. Willies was the No. 1 junior college receiver in the country, and has already been turning heads in Lubbock after enrolling early. He would make the Sooners' offense that much more dangerous.