2023 NFL Draft Odds: How many Big 12 players will be drafted in the first round?

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Big 12 programs could have quiet first round per NFL mock drafts

Bijan Robinson and Tyree Wilson headline the likely first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. It seems entirely possible that those two could be the only ones to go. DraftKings Sportsbook has the line set at 4.5 for Big 12 players taken on April 27, but there is heavy under juice at -210. For one of college football’s premier conferences to have two top-10 picks and then a bunch of question marks is a pretty big indictment of the conference, but maybe we’ll see some surprises.

 

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Here are five players that could be first-round draft picks from the Big 12:

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Big 12 players drafted in the first round

Over 4.5 (+170) / Under 4.5 (-210) 

Robinson and Wilson are undoubtedly the biggest names, coming out Texas and Texas Tech, respectively, but there are other players from around the conference that may have a first-round grade in the minds of scouts and talent evaluators. It gets very interesting at Quentin Johnston, who was once viewed as a first-round lock. Now, Johnston looks like he might be in danger of falling out of the first. That makes the 4.5 total interesting here. 

(Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook: Updated Thursday, April 20 at 3:30 p.m. ET)

Tyree Wilson scouting report

Wilson was sidelined with a foot injury suffered in November, but he is well on his way to a return and teams seem to be pleased enough with his medicals that he has been climbing draft boards. He’s a mountain of a linebacker at 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds. He had 32 tackles for loss and 17 sacks over four collegiate seasons, with one at Texas A&M and three at Texas Tech. He had 99 of his 121 tackles over his final two seasons as a Red Raider and will be an edge lineman that can disrupt plays by getting in the backfield.

Wilson is a lock to go in the first round and he is also listed among the First Defensive Player Drafted odds at +250.

Bijan Robinson scouting report

We recently wrote about Robinson as an easy choice to be the first running back drafted and wrote about which team may select him. The bruising back from Texas is far and away the top RB prospect in this year’s class. He’s a lock to go in the first round.

Quentin Johnston scouting report

This is where it gets really interesting. Johnston would appear to be the likeliest to join Wilson and Robinson in the first round, but there are some questions about his player profile and whether or not he warrants a pick that high.

Johnston has a lot of qualities that teams look for in a wide receiver. He’s tall, physical, and has the speed to get open down the field. He was also rather inconsistent at TCU and really only emerged during his final season with 60 catches for 1,069 yards. He won’t be a possession receiver like Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zay Flowers, but he could be a home run threat on deep balls and make some tough catches along the sidelines for big plays.

Johnson is at +350 to be the second wide receiver selected along with Jordan Addison and +1000 to be the first WR plucked.

Will McDonald IV scouting report 

EDGE rushers are always in high demand during the draft and that may push a player like McDonald into the first 31 picks. The Iowa State product might have to beat out some ACC rushers like Keion White to be a first-rounder, as he probably ranks fifth or sixth among his position group. There is a little boom-and-bust potential for him, as his technique needs some improvement and scouts are worried about his size. However, he shows good quickness and explosiveness. This is a tough player to rely on, though, because his beauty as a prospect is in the eye of the beholder.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah scouting report 

The Kansas State product is a guy that didn’t get a ton of reps in college, but really stood out on film when he did. How he’ll handle bigger, more physical linemen is a question, but his motor, effort level, and explosiveness are not. It’s just a matter of whether or not he projects to be impactful enough to draw a first-round grade.

It looks like the margin for error for the Big 12 to have at least five players drafted is pretty thin, unless somebody really shoots up draft boards in the interview process.

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