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NFL Draft shows that it's hard for OU and the rest of college football to keep up with the SEC

Through the first 40 picks of the NFL Draft last week, four Big 12 defensive players had been selected – OU linebacker Kenneth Murray, Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks, TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney and TCU lineman Ross Blacklock.

That’s as many defenders as the Big Ten had in the first 40 picks. That’s twice as many defenders as the ACC and Pac-12 had combined.

Man, if we could just get Big 12 offenses to pick up the slack, this conference might get somewhere.

OK, no more fooling around. But you have to admit, the draft showed some interesting numbers. Thirteen of the 21 Big 12 players selected were from defense. That’s a start.

What’s not a start is that 21. That’s the lowest total from a Power 5 Conference, although if you pro-rate it per league member, the Big 12 comes out ahead of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Twenty-seven ACC players were selected; that’s 1.93 per school. The Big 12 averaged 2.1 per school.

The SEC had 63 picks (4.5 average), the Big Ten 48 (3.43) and the Pac-12 (2.67).

So the Big 12 has a ways to go. And not every draft pick is the same. First-round is far superior to seventh-round.

I weighted all the picks from the major conferences, giving seven points for a first-round pick, six for a second-round, etc. Didn’t change much at all.

The SEC averaged 20.86 points per school, the Big Ten 12.64, the Pac-12 10.25, the Big 12 8.4 and the ACC 7.07.

So the discrepancy in talent is real and is vast.

The SEC has a major edge on every other conference, with the other four leagues in a clear pecking order, but much closer together.

The Sooners produced good talent for this draft – two first-round picks in Murray and receiver CeeDee Lamb, plus quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round and nose guard Neville Gallimore in the third. That’s 25 draft points. But the rivals OU is challenging for national supremacy again had far more.

Forget LSU’s 73. That’s an outlier unlikely to be matched by any program in the near future. But Alabama had 62, Ohio State 41, Clemson 34 and Georgia 30.

So OU is pedaling furiously just to keep up. And not getting a ton of help from some of the Big 12. OSU, Kansas State and Iowa State all went draftless last week.

The Sooners have to recruit even better to keep up with the likes of Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson. But the Big 12 must recruit better overall, to fight the magnetic appeal of the SEC.

Oh well. At least the Big 12 made some inroads on defense.

Related Photos
In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Kenneth Murray, second from left, watches the NFL football draft Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Missouri City, Texas. Murray was chosen by the Los Angeles Chargers. (NFL via AP)

In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Kenneth Murray, second from left, watches the NFL football draft Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Missouri City, Texas. Murray was chosen by the Los Angeles Chargers. (NFL via AP)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-27e5db6909c0358dbf6419744e0eb61e.jpg" alt="Photo - In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Kenneth Murray, second from left, watches the NFL football draft Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Missouri City, Texas. Murray was chosen by the Los Angeles Chargers. (NFL via AP)" title="In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Kenneth Murray, second from left, watches the NFL football draft Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Missouri City, Texas. Murray was chosen by the Los Angeles Chargers. (NFL via AP)"><figcaption>In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Kenneth Murray, second from left, watches the NFL football draft Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Missouri City, Texas. Murray was chosen by the Los Angeles Chargers. (NFL via AP)</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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