By Chuck Licata, TexasHSFootball.com Managing Editor
Two weeks ago we reported there was a combined agreement among NFL Draft Prognosticators that four players with Texas ties would be taken in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft (April 28-30 in Chicago).
We added there was a possibility that players’ draft stock could rise or fall as the draft got closer.
Welcome to two weeks later.
Todd McShay of ESPN (espn.com) just put out his NFL Mock Draft 4.0. And wouldn’t you know; his latest projections put SIX players with Texas ties walking the stage and grabbing a hat from Commissioner Roger Goddell in the first round.
While that doesn’t sound like much, consider this: by adding “just” two Lone Star players to the first round, the percentage of Texas players jumped from 12 percent to 20 percent.
And we still have a month to go before the first player is announced.
McShay, like every site and prognosticator, agrees defensive tackles A*Shawn Robinson (college: Alabama; hometown, Fort Worth) and Andrew Billings (Baylor; Waco) as well as receivers Corey Coleman (Baylor; Richardson) and Josh Doctson (TCU; Mansfield) will hear their names in round one. That’s been the consensus pretty much since Day One.
McShay, however, adds Texas A&M/Houston product Germain Ifedi (offensive lineman) and University of Houston/Houston product Williams Jackson III (cornerback) to the tail end of Round One. Why would he do this?
Very simple – defense.
The number – and stock – of defensive players being projected in the initial round of the draft is on the rise. According to McShay’s latest mock, 18 players who look to make a living on the defensive side of the ball will be plucked from the college ranks. That includes Jackson III, who would be the fourth defensive back taken in round one.
The clamor for defensive linemen is the real “push” in McShay’s writings. No less than 10 D-Line guys (broken up by seven defensive tackles and three defensive ends) would hear their name called.
That call for defensive line guys affects the second round, too, as University of Texas tackle Hassan Ridgeway (Mansfield) moved up the board and is projected to go late in the second.
Stay tuned, folks. Plenty more movement – up and down the board – is sure to come as we get closer to April 28 in Chicago.
Projections – Player, College, Hometown, position
A*Shawn Robinson Alabama Fort Worth DT
6-foot-4, 312 pounds
Andrew Billings Baylor Waco DT
6-foot-2, 310 pounds
Corey Coleman Baylor Richardson WR
5-foot-11, 190 pounds
Josh Doctson TCU Mansfield WR
6-fot-2, 202 pounds
Germain Ifedi Texas A&M Houston OL
6-foot-6, 324 pounds
William Jackson III Houston Houston CB
6-foot-2, 195 pounds (Wheatley HS)
Hassan Ridgeway Texas Mansfield DT
6-foot-3, 320 pounds