West Virginia receiver Kevin White and Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown represented the Big 12 as a pair of first-round NFL draft picks last weekend, but some NFL-level talent, namely the Baylor duo of Spencer Drango and Shawn Oakman, elected to return for their final college seasons.
Now is the perfect time to look at some of those top remaining NFL prospects in the Big 12 heading into the 2015 season. Here's a look at a few Big 12 stars who could end up coming off the board early in the 2016 draft.
QB Trevone Boykin, TCU: If Boykin has a similar jump as a senior that he had as a junior, he could be an intriguing option for NFL teams. His stellar running ability and improving passing skills might spark a team to draft him in the early rounds. As a junior, Boykin accounted for 4,608 yards of total offense (3,901 passing, 707 rushing).
T Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech: At 6-foot-6, 313 pounds, Clark is a terrific NFL prospect. He has terrific size and athleticism along with plenty of experience as a three-year starter who enters his senior season with 38 consecutive starts.
WR Josh Doctson, TCU: An athletic, big target (6-foot-4, 185 pounds), Doctson averaged 15.8 yards per catch on his way to 1,018 receiving yards in 2014. A strong season could set him up to go in Round 1.
T Spencer Drango, Baylor: After deciding to return to Baylor for his final season to be part of another Big 12 title contender, Drango is likely to be one of the top linemen in next year's draft.
S Karl Joseph, West Virginia: Arguably the Big 12's hardest hitter, Joseph could help himself by showing he's much improved in coverage, thus making him a versatile safety prospect. Either way he could be a Day 1 or Day 2 selection.
DE Shawn Oakman, Baylor: The king of memes already looks like an NFL player. His combination of size, athleticism and overall talent should make him one of the top prospects for the 2016 NFL draft. He had 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss as a junior.
DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State: The Big 12's breakout performer in 2014, Ogbah is aiming to become a more complete player as a junior. If he does, his stock could skyrocket, especially if he improves on the 11 sacks and 17 tackles for loss he recorded in 2014.
LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma: One of the best pass-rushers in the nation, Striker should interest plenty of NFL teams. He enters the season with 15.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss. His terrific quickness and acceleration off the line of scrimmage can give offensive tackles fits.
DE Charles Tapper, Oklahoma: After his sophomore season, Tapper looked like a guy who could be an early-entry first-round draft pick. After a step backward as a junior, Tapper can redeem himself with a dominant senior season. Either way Tapper, who ran Amari Cooper down from behind in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, has NFL-level physical talent that's hard to overlook.