Overall, it was a great draft for the Kansas Jayhawks. Aqib Talib became their first 1st round pick since Dana Stubblefield in 1993. In doing this, he was also the only player from the Big 12 to go in the first round. More importantly, though, was that they had three others taken throughout the second day of the weekend, bringing their total to 4. For perspective on how much of an accomplishment this was, the total of four was twice as many as had been selected in the previous five drafts combined (2: Adrian Jones in '04 & David McMillan in '05). Granted, a few other players have made it into the league via free agency (Charles Gordon comes to mind), but it still speaks to how much of an improvement has occurred under Mangino's reign. And for a little more perspective, their total equals the combined total of "football schools" Methzou and KSU and also equaled the total of Oklahoma.
1st Round (20): Aqib Talib – Tampa Bay
This seems to be a great fit for Talib coming into the league as he should have no trouble adjusting to the Cover 2. I can see Talib being a shut down corner at some point in his career, but he's not nearly ready for that role and the over the top safety help from the Cover 2 will allow him ample time to adjust to the NFL. It's also worth noting that Talib was the third CB taken as Leodis McKelvin went 11th (Buffalo) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie went 16th (Arizona). I don't know enough about either of them to know if either are better than Talib, but I do know that if they passed on Talib because he smoked some grass, then they are extremely naïve and unintelligent. For what it's worth though, I think it worked out for the better as he will fit well in Tampa and have a chance to win immediately.
4th Round (13-112): Anthony Collins – Cincinnati
This is probably the biggest disappointment of the weekend from a Jayhawk perspective. As we stated several times over here at IBT, we felt like Collins would benefit greatly from another year in the collegiate ranks. For whatever reason, he disagreed and felt like he would be a 2nd round selection, 3rd at the worst. Clearly, that did not happen. And even worse, he went to Cincinnati. Now, I'm under the impression that their O-Line coach, Paul Alexander, has a good reputation and will be able to develop him well. For his sake, I hope that's true.
4th Round (33-132): Derek Fine – Buffalo
Contrarily, this has to be the best story of the weekend. Whereas scouts and others in the know felt like he would go somewhere in this area, most "experts" had him much later (6th, 7th, & even undrafted). I'm not all that familiar with Buffalo, or more importantly their tight end situation (aside from what happened last year with Kevin Everett), so it's hard to say how soon he'll contribute offensively. (Note: I wouldn't be shocked to see him work in some at fullback too.) However, I'll be shocked if he doesn't make an immediate impact on special teams at the very least.
6th Round (5-171): Marcus Henry – NY Jets
This was another success story for the Hawks. Whereas the previous three were lightly recruited, Henry didn't even fit that bill. Until Kansas scooped him up very late after an impressive All-Star game performance he was on his was to JUCO. Similarly, the "experts" again were not projecting him to be drafted. Considering he is 6'4" and can go across the middle or down the field, I have no idea why except that apparently he lacks ideal speed, though his listed 40 time is 5.54. Maybe that isn't ideal, but given that he'll have a height advantage over every corner in the league and it's not exactly like he's stuck in molasses, I think he'll be alright if he bulks up a bit so that he doesn't have any trouble getting off the line and into his route.
Free Agent: Brandon McAnderson – St. Louis Rams
It's too bad he wasn't drafted, but also may have worked out for the better. This gave him a chance to pick his team and he was able to stay semi-close to home. Not knowing much about the Rams, I can't say how much he'll contribute in the backfield, but like Fine, I'll be surprised if he doesn't find his way into the mix on special teams.
The following players have yet to sign with teams…
James McClinton – This was semi-surprising as I saw him projected in the 6th round most commonly. I don't really know who he has been in contact with, but I'm confident some team will sign him. And when they do, I would think they're making a good choice.
Kyle Tucker – Again, I don't know if he's been in contact with any teams, but as he showed in the Orange Bowl, he has a great leg and probably better accuracy so whatever team decides to sign him should be pleased.
Scott Webb – Personally, I'll be shocked if he ever sees an NFL roster. His leg strength is average at best, and he really doesn't have the accuracy to make up for that.
As for the rest of the Big 12…
KSU – Jordy Nelson (5-36) to Green Bay – Always good to see homegrown guys that weren't recruited turn themselves into something. It's too bad he (likely) won't get to play with Favre, but he should fit well.
OU – Curtis Lofton (6-37) to Atlanta – Will make an immediate impact.
CU – Jordan Dizon (14-45) to Detroit – Considering he's in Detroit, I can see him mixing it up pretty soon.
OU – Malcolm Kelly (20-51) to Washington – Watching him I think this is a steal this late. Hearing him bitch about the surface he ran on, I wonder.
UT – Limas Sweed (22-53) to Pittsburgh – Incredible pick this late.
A&M – Martellus Bennett (30-61) to Dallas – Great pickup, this guy is a beast and will replace Fasano.
CU – Terrence Wheatley (31-62) to New England – Ditto. Why does it seem like New England and Pittsburgh are the only teams that scout well?
UT – Jamaal Charles (10-73) to Kansas City – Good player, tough to argue with the speed and talent. I'm not sure they addressed a need here, especially considering the QBs that were still on the board.
OU – Reggie Smith (12-75) to San Francisco – I don't know too much about their secondary, but he's a pretty solid player and as long as he's not asked to be a shut-down (which he won't be), I think he'll help them.
UT – Jermichael Finley (28-91) to Green Bay – I like him more than most and as long as he improves his blocking, he should be productive.
MU – Will Franklin (6-105) to Kansas City – Decent pick. They need receivers and with his speed, he could help them, possibly even in the return game.
A&M – Cody Wallace (8-107) to San Francisco – The extent of my knowledge on him is that he is a Center.
MU – Martin Rucker (12-111) to Cleveland – He's certainly got the size to make an impact. His blocking is extremely questionable and unless Soldier Winslow falls off another motorcycle, I don't see him making a huge impact.
A&M – Red Bryant (22-121) to Seattle – I thought a lot more of him 2 years ago. Perhaps he was playing with some sort of a lingering injury this year, but the more I watched, the less I liked him. I'll be interested to see how he pans out.
UT – Tony Hills (31-130) to Pittsburgh – All I know is that he's an Offensive Tackle and that he's big (6'6", 309).
NU – Zack Bowman (7-142) to Chicago – It just makes me laugh that the first Nebraska player taken was in the 5th round. And given what Kansas and most other teams did to Nebraska this year, perhaps this was too high for someone on their defense. Then again, one guy can’t do much if the other 10 are dragging him down.
ISU – Alvin Bowen (12-147) to Buffalo – I guess he is said to be undersized, but I think he'll turn out pretty well. He knows how to tackle and there is usually a place for guys like that.
UT – Frank Okam (16-151) to Houston – Houston can always use help on defense and Okam has always been pretty solid.
NU – Carl Nicks (29-164) to New Orleans – The "experts" thought he should have gone much earlier. I tend to agree from what I know, so I'd say this is a good grab for the Saints who have some noticeable O-Line issues.
A&M – Christopher Harrington (19-185) to Arizona – Arizona always needs help on defense. I'm unsure if he is capable of providing that help.
ISU – Ahtyba Rubin(24-190) to Cleveland – Never heard of him. He's a D-tackle, if you're interested.
NU – Bo Ruud (31-197) to New England – Ha. I will be absolutely shocked if this guy sees the field. Then again, Belicheat has found a way to disguise Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau as productive linebackers despite them being way past their prime.
A&M – Corey Clark (27-234) to San Diego – He's big. The Chargers have a pretty good OL though, so I don't see him being any more than a backup.
OU – Allen Patrick (33-240) to Baltimore – Seems like a steal to me.
KSU – Rob Jackson (35-242) to Washington – Never heard of him and I'm doubting he makes the roster.
UT - 5
A&M – 5
Kansas – 4
OU - 4
Nebraska – 3
Colorado - 2
Methzou – 2
ISU – 2
KSU – 2
Texas Tech - 0
OSU – 0
Baylor – 0
Total - 29