Another week, another conference of 2020 NFL Draft film work down – well, almost. With only West Virginia left to break down from the Big 12, here are some of my observations on the rest of the conference.
Oklahoma State cornerback with standout film
Though he won’t be my highest-rated prospect from the conference, I came away more impressed by Oklahoma State cornerback A.J. Green than any other Big 12 player.
A shutdown corner who was rarely challenged by opposing quarterbacks, Green is very technically sound. He displays a quick, fluid backpedal, snaps his hips in transition, and stays step for step with receivers everywhere on the field.
I’ve had Green highly rated for two years now, and his senior tape continued to impress me.
Oklahoma with a pair of first-round talents
As far as my top-rated prospect from the Big 12, that honor goes to Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. He comes off of a terrific season and displays natural pass-catching ability and run-after-catch skill.
What concerns me, and is something I expect to be answered at the combine, is Lamb’s speed. He doesn’t display a great burst or the top-end speed most expect in a top-15 pick, which is where Lamb is expected to be selected.
Speed is not an issue for Lamb’s teammate, linebacker Kenneth Murray, who ranks second on my Big 12 board. Murray is an explosive linebacker who plays with great speed and suddenness. He’s fierce, tough, and runs down ball carriers from all angles. His coverage skills seem a bit suspect, but Murray is talented enough to fit into the first round.
TCU with NFL talent in the trenches
Prior to announcing he would enter the draft, I was getting second to fourth-round grades on TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. The film justifies these grades, as Blacklock shows great explosiveness, fundamentals, and intensity. What Blacklock needs is more bulk and better strength, as he gets tied up on blocks too often, but I suspect that will come in time.
I was incredibly impressed with another TCU prospect – offensive guard Cordel Iwuagwu.
Despite not being graded by scouts before the season, Iwuagwu moves towards April as a mid-Day 3 pick, a ranking that is justified by the tape. He’s a fundamentally sound blocker who plays with great pad level, agility and balance. Iwuagwu is most impressive in motion and blocking at the second level or on the move. Like Blacklock, strength is the biggest concern in his game, but it’s something that’s very fixable.
Most underrated and overrated players from the Big 12
The most underrated prospect from the conference I watched on film? Once again it was linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch of Texas, a player I mentioned over the summer.
McCulloch possesses next-level size at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, is estimated to run the 40 in the low 4.7s, and makes plays all over the field.
He’s terrific in pursuit, makes plays in space, and sells out on the blitz. McCulloch was marginally productive on the stat sheet, but he was omnipresent around the action on film. He will be a find as a free-agent signing once the draft is complete.
The most overrated prospect from the Big 12? That’s easy – Terence Steele of Texas Tech.
Steele is a big, athletic tackle who will test well at the combine and very much looks the part. On film, he’s stiff, bends at the waist, lacks balance, and doesn’t play like a big, athletic tackle.
In the end, Steele is going to be overdrafted in April.