NFP’s 2009 Big 12 all-prospect team
In our continuing look at the top draft-eligible prospects from each conference, the National Football Post checks out the Big 12.
QB Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M
Physically, the guy is as talented as it gets. Plus, he’s improved dramatically over the past two years from a mental standpoint and looks poised to become one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects in the 2011 draft.
RB DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma
Isn’t your typical every-down type of back, but he knows how to catch the ball out of the backfield and create big plays in space.
TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
A talented pass catcher who missed the 2009 season with a knee injury but still looks like one of the nation’s top tight end prospects in the upcoming draft.
WR Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas
Lacks ideal straight-line speed but is a coordinated route runner who consistently is able to separate out of his breaks and knows how to high-point the ball. One of the nation’s most underrated junior receiver prospects and looks like a future starting wideout at the next level.
WR Jordan Shipley, Texas
A savvy route runner who knows how to find soft spots over the middle and make plays away from his frame. Looks like an ideal slot guy in the Brandon Stokley mold.
WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
A king-sized receiver who displays the type of balance, body control and suddenness to consistently separate out of his breaks. Has the makings of a legit No. 1-type wideout in the NFL.
OL Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
A dancing bear on the outside, showcases impressive range and fluidity in pass protection and looks like a guy capable of anchoring the blind side on an NFL offensive line for the next 10 years.
OL Nate Solder, Colorado
Is absolutely dripping with upside and might have a higher ceiling than any other offensive line prospect in the country. He’s still raw, but his combination of size (6-9, 305) and athleticism (4.89 40) is unmatched by any other offensive tackle prospect.
OL Trent Williams, Oklahoma
An overrated offensive tackle prospect who struggled tremendously at times playing on the left side. Will likely need to make the move back to right tackle in the NFL.
OL J.D. Walton, Baylor
A smooth, graceful lineman who quickly gets out of his stance and knows how to seal defenders from the football at the second level. Grades out as the nation’s top senior center prospect.
OL Kevin Matthews, Texas A&M
A vastly underrated senior center who displays possibly the quickest hands of any interior offensive lineman in the country. Won’t get a ton of love on draft day, but he’s the kind of guy who will end up making an NFL roster and eventually fighting for a starting job down the line.
DL Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
Simply put, one of the most dominant defensive linemen to come along in years; an impact defensive tackle at the next level.
DL Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
Was overlooked this season because of Nebraska’s Suh but is a dominating defensive tackle in his own right who, like Suh, projects as an impact defensive lineman in the NFL.
DL Jared Crick, Nebraska
He’s only a redshirt sophomore, but Crick displays the ability to consistently dominate one-on-one blocks inside and make his way to the football. Possesses an intriguing 6-6, 285-pound frame and will add a lot of versatility to a defensive line at the next level.
DL Lamarr Houston, Texas
A thickly built interior lineman who displays a good first step off the ball and plays with natural leverage on contact. Looks like a guy who should end up winning a starting job some time during his first couple of years in the NFL.
OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
A hybrid pass-rushing specialist who will likely end up making the move to a 3-4 OLB role at the next level. Possesses the skill set needed to get after the QB in a variety of ways.
OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas
A thick, well-built athlete who displays a good first step and knows how to fight his way up the field. Looks like another intriguing 3-4 rush linebacker from the Big 12.
OLB Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma
Could end up playing as a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB at the next level, but either way, he’s simply too talented to leave off this list.
DB Earl Thomas, Texas
A redshirt sophomore who possesses an intriguing combination of balance, closing speed and ball skills in coverage and looks like an impact ball-hawking type of safety.
DB Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State
A tall, long-armed corner who does a good job disrupting the timing in the pass game and tracking the football down the field. He’s still raw with his footwork but has a skill set that warrants starting potential in the NFL.
DB Larry Asante, Nebraska
An underrated senior safety prospect who is always around the ball and displays good footwork and instincts in coverage. Has the power to dislodge ball from man on contact and looks like a future starting defensive back at the next level.
DB Dominique Franks, Oklahoma
Is a gifted athlete who can really click and close in space and consistently makes plays on the ball. He has a tendency to lose concentration, though, and simply blows too many assignments in the pass game.
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