Below are the notable Texas Longhorns eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft. If you are searching for the sleeping giant in the Big 12 this upcoming season, look no further than the Texas Longhorns. Led by new head coach Tom Herman, the Longhorns have a chance to make some serious noise with their young, but immensely talented roster. Possessing NFL talent on both sides of the ball, consistency and putting it together are the only real questions surrounding this team and its chances of contending in the Big 12 in 2017.
Offensive Tackle Connor Williams – 6060, 320 – Junior
There is not much to say about Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams, other than the fact that he is simply elite at the position. To give you an idea of how good Williams is, I could not find a glaring weakness in my notes when evaluating his tape. He has the foot quickness and technique to handle speed rushers off of the edge, as well as displaying the stopping power and hand strength to match power in pass protection.
In the run game, he gets to second level quickly and can do some damage in the process. With his mobility and competitive toughness to play until the whistle blows, he is a force to be reckoned with in space. Overall, this highly touted, All-American offensive tackle for the Longhorns is an elite player who has the translatable skills set to play either left or right tackle at the next level for a long time.
Defensive Tackle Poona Ford – 6010, 310 – Senior
Linebacker Malik Jefferson – 6030, 240 – Junior
Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson may have one of the highest upsides of any player in college football. With his scary athleticism and ability to drop back in coverage, stack and shed, and rush the quarterback off of the edge, Jefferson’s potential is truly unlimited. He is a bit inconsistent in reading plays as quick as he needs to, but with his closing speed, ball carriers still do not have much of a chance.
Jefferson is a highlight hitter, but although rather inconsistent at times, he can also break down and make fundamental open-field tackles with a well-timed wrap up. He is going to have to work on his angles because although it does not matter at this level with his raw athletic ability, he will get exposed at the next level. This applies to both run support and coverage. Ideally, Jefferson is best suited to play as a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 to maximize his ability to play in space, but I can also see him rushing the quarterback on occasion as well. In fact, I would not be shocked if a NFL team running a 3-4 defense selects him to play outside linebacker.
He has all of the tools necessary to be a prime time player at the next level, but he needs to do the little things consistently in his upcoming junior season.
Cornerback Kris Boyd – 6010, 195 – Junior
Kris Boyd is an interesting cornerback prospect because of his evident talent level and athletic ability. He was one of the most highly touted recruits coming out of high school, but saw his first action as a starter this past season. His long speed to carry receivers vertically, click and close ability to pounce on underneath throws, and special teams ability as both a gunner and returner are the strengths of his game that I highlighted in my notes. He is young and immensely talented, but his lack of overall play strength and technique puts him at a disadvantage in Press. His anxiousness in man coverage is concerning, but he does play the ball well.
As an open field tackler, he needs to improve in overall consistency, but he has flashes of progress in this part of the game. All in all, Boyd is one of the wild card cornerbacks to keep an eye on in 2017 because of his talent level and the relatively unknown factor of increased