Open like a lion, close like a lion
The Big 12 produced six draft picks in the fourth round, then went dormant for the fifth and sixth rounds, producing a combined four picks in those two. In the draft's final round, the conference had eight players drafted, tying the league's high mark for the three-day draft. The Big 12 also produced eight picks in the draft's first round. Overall, 30 Big 12 players were drafted, including 19 from the 10 teams that will make up the league next year.
Nebraska is league's top producer
The Cornhuskers produced a whopping six third-day picks, bringing the Cornhuskers' total up to seven. That marked the most any league team produced. Nebraska did it with balance, with three offensive players (Roy Helu Jr., Niles Paul, Keith Williams) with three defensive players (Prince Amukamara, Dejon Gomes, Eric Hagg) and a kicker (Alex Henery). Among the teams returning to the Big 12 next year, Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas had the most with four. Colorado, which is leaving the league, also had four players drafted.
Two teams shut out
Ten Big 12 teams produced draftees, with six of those teams boasting multiple draft picks. Iowa State and Kansas were the only squads not to produce at least one pick, though each had defensive backs under consideration in the later rounds, with Iowa State safety David Sims and Kansas cornerback Chris Harris serving as potential draft picks. Neither was selected, though both will find a spot in a training camp somewhere after the lockout ends.
Running game over the passing game
Only one Big 12 quarterback was drafted, Missouri passer Blaine Gabbert. Additionally, the league produced just two drafted wide receivers, Nebraska's Niles Paul and Colorado's Scotty McKnight. But half of the Big 12's teams had a running back drafted this year, starting with Kansas State's Daniel Thomas and ending with Baylor's Jay Finley. Between those two, Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray, Nebraska's Roy Helu, Jr., Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter and Texas Tech's Baron Batch were drafted.
Strong league next year
Sure, Texas and Oklahoma each produced four prospects apiece. But two of the other top teams didn't reach that number combined. Part of the reason the Big 12 is supposed to be stacked in 2011 is because Texas A&M and Oklahoma State are expected to be better than normal. Each only produced one prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft, meaning they'll return a number of the playmakers that made each a force a year ago.