Twenty-one Big 12 players were selected in the 2020 NFL draft, the fewest of any Power Five conference. But highly regarded prospects from the major programs within the league, led by a pair of offensive linemen, hope to change that next spring.
Here is our initial Big 12 of the Big 12, the American-Statesman’s annual list of the dozen best players in the conference regardless of position:
Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Cosmi has started 26 of the past 27 games, earning All-Big 12 honors both years. The 6-7, 310-pound left tackle can also play on the right side. Tackle is the most important position in the draft outside of quarterback and Cosmi should go in the first round.
Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
Oklahoma is no stranger to producing NFL linemen, and Humphrey is next on that list as one of the nation’s premier interior linemen. He can play center, which is invaluable at the NFL level, and can also play either guard position, giving him the positional versatility scouts crave.
Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State
Purdy is popping up as a potential first-round draft pick in 2021 on numerous mock drafts. He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore after setting single-season school records in passing yardage (3,892 yards), touchdowns (27), completions (312) and total offense (4,231 yards).
Caden Sterns, S, Texas
Sterns dealt with nagging injuries last year as a sophomore following a sensational freshman season that ended with Big 12 defensive freshman of the year honors. He’d be NFL-bound with a healthy, consistent junior season. He is a ball-hawk at safety.
Trevon Moehrig-Woodard, S, TCU
TCU just sent two defensive backs to the NFL. Moehrig-Woodard is sure to be the next high pick out of Fort Worth. He was a first-team all-conference selection as a sophomore. Moehrig-Woodard is always around the football.
Jalen Redmond, DE, Oklahoma
Edge rushers are always in high demand early in the draft and Redmond could emerge as the conference’s best pass rusher with more consistency. He led Oklahoma with 6.5 sacks last year despite starting only four games.
Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Wallace could have left after the 2019 season, but decided to stick around because of how deep the 2020 draft was with wide receivers. He should improve his stock even more with another all-conference season. He has accounted for 2,512 career receiving yards.
Wyatt Hubert, DE, Kansas State
All Hubert does is produce. He was a Freshman All-American and has 11.5 sacks in his two-year career. He led the Wildcats with 12.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks as a sophomore, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
The speedster from Canada decided to return for his junior season, which is great news for Mike Gundy and the Cowboys. Hubbard was the most explosive offensive player in the Big 12 in 2019. He rushed for more than 100 yards in 11 games and led the country in rushing.
Kolby Harvell-Peel, S, Oklahoma State
Harvell-Peel proved himself to be one of the best defensive backs in the Big 12 as a sophomore, earning first-team all-conference honors after recording 71 tackles, five interceptions and 13 pass breakups. Players with his versatility and play-making ability are coveted in the NFL.
Jack Anderson, G, Texas Tech
Anderson was the highest-rated offensive lineman to sign with Texas Tech in the past 20 years and immediately lived up to the billing with Freshman All-American honors by USA Today. He missed his junior season with a shoulder injury, but should be on draft boards come this time next year.
Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
Ehlinger enters his senior season with 33 starts and 36 total appearances. He’s a tough, physical quarterback who has grown as a passer in each of his first three seasons. A big year for him and the Longhorns could shoot him into the second day of the draft.
Honorable mention: Oklahoma DE Ronnie Perkins, Texas DE Joseph Ossai, Baylor LB Terrel Bernard, Kansas RB Pooka Williams, West Virginia DL Darius Stills, TCU TE Pro Wells, Iowa State TE Charlie Kolar, Baylor S Grayland Arnold.