Quarterbacks Once Again Dominate the Big 12 in 2012


Last year, the Big 12 had three first round picks at the quarterback position, as well as a Heisman Trophy winner in Robert Griffin III (Baylor), Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M), and Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State).

This year could be much of the same, though the three quarterbacks are quite different than the year before.

According to ESPN’s Big 12 bloggers, the three best players in the Big 12 this year are West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein. If you are an NFL Draft fan, the name among those three that you likely recognize the least is Collin Klein, who is certainly not to be overlooked. A poor man’s Tim Tebow, Klein accounted for over 1,900 yards through the air and had over 1,100 yards rushing with 27 touchdowns on the ground and 13 through the air.

Klein is nowhere near as prolific a passer as Tebow was in college, but he is certainly just as good a runner. He will need to show substantial improvement as a passer if he is going to be a high NFL draft pick, but he definitely has the requisite measurables at 6’5″ 225 pounds and the ability to make plays with his legs as a goal line runner. It will be interesting to see how an NFL team decides to use him going forward.

We all know about Geno Smith and Landry Jones, who are two of the best passers in the country. I think it’s interesting but not surprising that ESPN’s Big 12 guys/gals have Smith ahead of Jones. He has been playing in the Big East so the competition defensively won’t be too much different, but it will be better nonetheless (there doesn’t seem to be a lot of great D played in the Big 12).

Jones is a proven player who was ice cold for a stretch last year. He is a fiery competitor who has an excellent ability to forget his mistakes and move on, and despite not playing great, he was able to shake off the rust and beat Iowa in a bowl game last year.

We all saw what West Virginia did in their bowl game. Yikes. (In case you don’t, WVU scored 70 points on Clemson and won 70-33)

These guys are the toast of the Big 12, and should be a ton of fun to watch this year, but will they have first round status? My guess is, Smith is going to have to do quite a bit to stay off the first round trajectory, as will Landry Jones. I still think both guys would have been first round graded players had they come out after last season, despite being a little raw. This year it will be interesting to see since they are two of the better seniors in a fantastic class of quarterbacks overall.