clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2014 NFL Draft: Picking up the pieces on a disappointing day for Texas

New, comments

The pain lingers.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 1937, the Texas Longhorns did not have a player selected in an NFL Draft, ending the longest such streak in the nation on Saturday.

With a little bit of distance now between the fateful Saturday, it's time to try to sort through the pieces and make some further sense of what happened.

Horns_bullet_mediumThe Alphabetical. A list of small and no-name schools that had a player drafted in 2014:

  • Arkansas State
  • Ball State (two)
  • Bloomsburg
  • Buffalo
  • Coastal Carolina (two)
  • Concordia-St. Paul
  • Eastern Illinois
  • Florida Atlantic (two)
  • Furman
  • Georgia Southern (two)
  • Georgia State
  • Illinois State
  • Kent State
  • Liberty
  • Lindenwood
  • Louisiana Tech
  • Maine
  • Marist
  • Marshall
  • McGill
  • Middle Tennessee State
  • Montana
  • Murray State
  • North Dakota State
  • Northwest Missouri State
  • Pittsburg State
  • Portland State
  • Princeton
  • Rice
  • Saginaw Valley
  • San Diego State (two)
  • San Jose State (two)
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee State (two)
  • Towson
  • Tulane
  • Utah State (two)
  • Western Kentucky
/bangs head against wall

Horns_bullet_mediumKansas State no longer own Texas, but will still troll Texas. Did you watch the draft on Saturday and get sick and tired of all the trolling of the Horns on Twitter? I did, and I did. Well, apparently troll time isn't quite over yet, as the Wildcats proved on Monday afternoon with a big ol' infographic:

The Purple Overlords rule once again.

Horns_bullet_mediumYes, this was Mack Brown's fault. Just in case anyone is having trouble getting their brain engaged, let's talk some more about what led to the Horns failing to have a player drafted for the first time since 1937.

Take it away, Scipio Tex:

According to every NFL GM, scout and football man, the post-MNC berth Mack Brown recruiting and development regime produced a group of horrifically coached, poorly developed football players unsuitable for a NFL locker room.

No player even worth a flyer.

If you don't think there was a Mack Brown regime program markdown that impacted every draft eligible Longhorn, I don't know what to tell you.  Many of these same players, at different schools or with different coaches, would have been drafted.  I can assure you of that.

Yup, that about sums it up.

Horns_bullet_mediumRecruiting rankings AND development matter. Some more assistance for anyone out there who believes that recruiting rankings don't matter -- from SB Nation's own Bud Elliott, four- and five-star recruits were 995 percent more likely to be drafted in the first round than recruits ranked at two or three stars. Five-star recruits had a three-in-five chance of being drafted, while four-star prospects had a one-in-five chance of being selected, a number that drops to one-in-18 for three-star prospects.

Of course, Texas had plenty of four- and five-star recruits in the 2009 and 2010 class. Not including incoming transfer Anthony Fera or outgoing transfer Garrett Gilbet, who was actually drafted, there were nine draft eligible Longhorns who were ranked as four- or five-star prospects out of high school by Rivals.

Neither of the two five-stars were picked, Jackson Jeffcoat from the 2010 class and Mason Walters from the 2009 class. Walters hasn't even signed a free agent deal and is unlikely to do so. According to the odds, Texas should have had at least one of these players drafted.

That leaves seven former four-star recruits who were also not selected -- Reggie Wilson (6.0), Mike Davis (6.0), Chris Whaley (5.9), Trey Hopkins (5.9), Donald Hawkins (5.8), Adrian Phillips (5.8), and Carrington Byndom (5.8). Phillips hasn't signed a free agent deal and is unlikely to do so. According to the odds, one or two of these players should have been drafted.

All that to provide just a little bit of context at how underdeveloped these Texas players were under the former regime. The numbers just don't lie and don't even include the classes as a whole, though the numbers provided above do take into account the entire initial rankings coming out of high school. Basically, the numbers should be even higher for the four-star prospects, but all the attrition and redshirts make it more difficult to figure out the exact odds that were missed out on.

Most of the time, the recruiting rankings aren't wrong on the whole, so developing well still isn't a substitute for landing the perceived top players and never will be an adequate substitute. Not for a school like Texas.

Horns_bullet_mediumThe drought along the offensive line continues. Even though Trey Hopkins and Donald Hawkins were able to land free-agent deals, the Horns still haven't had an offensive lineman drafted since Tony Hills in 2008. And Hills, as many will recall, was a tight end out of high school and had to recover from a devastating knee injury suffered his senior season that almost didn't allow him to return to the game.

So the last Texas class that featured an actual offensive linemen to go in the draft was 2002, an immensely successful class that featured Justin Blalock, Kasey Studdard, and Lyle Sendlein. Senlein went undrafted in 2007, but has put together a remarkable career since then.

With center Dominic Espinosa and tackle Desmond Harrison as the only players likely to have their names in the 2015 NFL Draft, that streak will likely continue. Who will break it? Kent Perkins may have a chance based on flashes of his potential early, but all of the other players are too young or inexperienced to say. Kennedy Estelle isn't strong enough and still has to overcome his academic hurdles to stay eligible.

All told, there have been 24 offensive linemen to come and go through the school in that period, with 15 of them four-star prospects and two of them five-star prospects. Based on the 2014 odds of being drafted, four of those players should have turned into NFL draft picks (one of the five-star prospects and three of the four-star prospects).

Only one of those players did end up being drafted, J'Marcus Webb, who ended up being a seventh-round draft pick out of West Texas A&M in 2010. He had been a member of the 2006 class and left because of off-field issues.

No other position stands as a more stark reminder of the lack of development than offensive line.

In Joe Wickline we trust?