The 2020 NFL Draft has wrapped and 21 now-former Big 12 players heard their names called. These are all talented athletes and football players, and while I expect many of them to enjoy solid careers in the NFL, some won’t. For some, it won’t because of their talent or abilities, but because they ended up in a bad situation out of the gate.
Outside of the best of the best, the top 3-5 players at a position, the team you land on could determine whether or not you have a long stay in the NFL or last for about a cup of coffee.
With that in mind, which Big 12 players had the best landing spots? Let’s rank ’em!
7. Jordyn Brooks – Seattle Seahawks
Seattle is a team that loves defense and it’s never a bad thing to get picked in the 1st round. Ever.
While I thought Brooks in the first was a little bit of a reach, and I love him. He was a beast and absolutely shredded Oklahoma State this year. (Go back and watch the game, unless you’re an OSU fan).
The talented linebacker from Texas Tech will get time to play and learn behind Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright. You have to assume they drafted him with the intention to let one of Wagner or Wright go at the end of the season as both are on the final years of their contracts.
While I don’t typically trust Seattle’s over reaching in the first round, Books should fit the system well and has the talent to become a start on a team that values defensive players.
6. Devin Duvernay – Baltimore Ravens
Duvernay was one of the best wide receivers in the Big 12 last year and should have a real opportunity with the Baltimore Ravens.
Yes, they have a TON of wide receivers on the roster including guys like Marquise Brown, Willie Snead, and Myles Boykin, along with three tight ends they throw passes too.
But, last season, according to Chase Kiddy’s appearance on the Ten12 Podcast, the Ravens finished dead last in the NFL in wide receiver yardage. Part of that is, again, due to scheme and their use of tight ends, but they are looking for guys to make an impact and help out Lamar Jackson.
I love this spot, and as a fan of Duvernay, I’m really glad to see him picked by a team that I think he will actually work out with.
5. Bravvion Roy – Carolina Panthers
It’s something Doug Gottlieb mentions on his show fairly often; the importance of having a guy in the room. It can make all the difference between someone getting a shot and not getting one.
Well folks, Bravvion Roy was literally drafted by his former Baylor head coach now head coach of the Carolina Panthers; Matt Rhule.
At this point, it’s up to Roy whether he makes it or not, but no one is going to give him a shot at sticking on the team and in the league than the guy who coached him the last three years in Waco.
4. Jalen Reagor – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagle have a super massive black hole void at wide receiver so it was obvious they were going to pick at least one (they got three) in the draft. That need and his talent should make Reagor a day one starter.
Throw in the fact that Philly is one of the most creative offenses in the league and they should be smart enough to really use Reagor for all of his athletic gifts.
I have just one caveat here, and it’s the reason I have Reagor fourth and not higher; I think he projects as a better WR2 than WR1 in the NFL. He’s the perfect Juju Smith-Schuster to an Antonio Brown. It’s not to say he’s talented, but if he could be the No. 2 option, he would absolutely thrive.
If Alshon Jeffrey, DeSean Jackson, or J.J. Arcega-Whiteside can be a reliable No. 1 option and take the opponent’s attention off Reagor, then fantastic. But if he has to be “the guy,” it’s not that I don’t think he’s capable, it’s just that I don’t think it’s as a good a situation as it could be.
3. Jeff Gladney – Minnesota Vikings
It’s not just that Jeff Gladney has the talent to start day one for Minnesota, it’s that there’s pretty much no one in his way from doing so.
Minnesota lost Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander earlier this spring. Cornerback was a big need for them, which is why they traded back up into the first round to draft Gladney.
Plus, he’s going to a team where the head coach, Mike Zimmer, LOVES to coach and mold defensive backs. He especially loves guys who are sure tacklers. Gladney was both that and a good blitzer at TCU.
Honestly, I’m not sure there was a better landing spot for Gladney.
2. Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles
Ok. I know. But hear me out. This is entirely dependent on what the Eagles have planned for Hurts and if he’s willing to go along with it.
For one thing, if there’s one team in the NFL that understands the value of a reliable back-up quarterback, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles. The problem is, they’re headed into the season with Kyle Lauletta in that role.
Enter Jalen Hurts. Not only do I think he’s the perfect NFL career back-up that could win my team a few games if need be, he’s a perfect complimentary weapon. IF he’s willing to be.
If he will be the Taysom Hill or what Lamar Jackson was his first year alongside Joe Flacco, then I think he’s someone who can have a long and profitable career.
If not — and that’s fine he can do whatever he wants and maybe that’s not even the Eagles plan for him — he would fall a bit on this list.
1. Denzel Mims – New York Jets
Breshad Perriman. Jamison Crowder. Quincy Enunwa. Josh Doctson.
Those are the wide receivers that Denzel Mims will be battling against for playing time. Folks, he’s going to start and he’s going to shine.
Sam Darnold is a good quarterback with no weapons. He’s got one now. And a good one at that.
Mims is a first-round talent in any other year and he’s going to a team with a solid quarterback that NEEDS someone good to throw too. Now, I don’t love the Jet’s offensive scheme and I don’t know if they can protect Darnold any better than they did last year (they were one of THE WORST o-lines last season), but I know that it’s a lot easier to deal with a bad o-line when you’re able to get the ball out faster because you have a reliable pass catcher.