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Analyzing likely replacements for 2015 Big 12 draft picks

The Big 12 conference once again brought up the rear when it came to picks in the 2015 NFL Draft among the Power 5 conferences, but rebounded slightly after a poor performance in 2014. In total, 25 players from the Big 12 heard their names called, a figure that rises to 26 if you include Dorial Green-Beckham coming from Oklahoma (where he didn't play a snap) instead of Missouri.

Here's a look at every Big 12 draft pick this year and who's in line to replace that player this fall.


QB Bryce Petty

Round 4 (103), New York Jets
Petty's replacement, Seth Russell, already saw action for the Bears last season and flashed enough that some think he could be better than his predecessor behind center. He briefly led the nation in passing efficiency last year, too.

LB Bryce Hager

Round 7 (224), St. Louis Rams
It is a tall task for the Bears to replace their defensive leader and tackling machine, but last year's backup -- Grant Campbell -- or the versatile Xavien Howard figure to get the first shot.


LB Ben Heeney

Round 5 (140), Oakland Raiders
Heeney was the heart and soul of the Jayhawks' defense and will be nearly impossible to replace, but sophomore Kyron Watson figures to be the next man up after seeing some time as a true freshman last year. Recent Juco transfer Jayd Kirby and junior Schyler Miles also figure to be in the mix for the spot.

CB JaCorey Shepherd

Round 6 (191), Philadelphia Eagles
Coaches Clint Bowen and Kenny Perry will have their work cut out for them re-tooling the secondary, and either Tevin Shaw or Greg Allen are likely to get first crack at filling one of the cornerback roles. Juco transfer Brandon Stewart should also be in the mix.

CB Dexter McDonald

Round 7 (242), Oakland Raiders
The same names -- Shaw, Allen and Stewart -- who are likely to replace Shepherd will be in the running to fill McDonald's spot, too.

Kansas State

WR Tyler Lockett

Round 3 (69), Seattle Seahawks
It will be nearly impossible to replace the production Lockett had for the Wildcats considering he's the school's all-time leading receiver. Deante Burton will assume the role of the No. 1 receiver, while Judah Jones, Andre Davis and Kody Cook will settle in behind him.

CB Randall Evans

Round 6 (196), Philadelphia Eagles
The Wildcats return both starting corners, so finding a replacement for Evans' nickel spot is one of the few holes Bill Snyder will need to figure out on the backend in 2015. Veterans Nate Jackson and Donnie Starks are the most likely candidates.


DT Jordan Phillips

Round 2 (52), Miami Dolphins
Charles Tapper could slide inside if needed with some extra weight, but it's likely junior Jordan Wade, sophomore Charles Walker and sophomore Matthew Romar wind up in some sort of rotation before one takes hold of the interior spot.

DE Geneo Grissom

Round 3 (97), New England Patriots
Devante Bond already auditioned for the role when Grissom was injured down the stretch last season and figures to be penciled in as the starter. Young pass rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo might also have a say in the matter.

OL Daryl Williams

Round 3 (102), Carolina Panthers
The loser of the left tackle battle between Josiah St. John and Kenyon Frison figures to be the likely replacement for Williams at right tackle.

TE Blake Bell

Round 4 (117), San Francisco 49ers
The Sooners' tight end depth took a hit this offseason with Bell departing to the draft and Taylor McNamara transferring to USC. Hopes are running high around Norman for Mark Andrews, however, and he'll be penciled in as the starter early on as a guy who can line up at multiple spots, too.

OL Tyrus Thompson

Round 6 (185), Minnesota Vikings
Both tackle spots need to be replaced on offense and either Josiah St. John or Kenyon Frison will likely be the answer at left tackle. Orlando Brown is a massive individual and could be a possibility, too.

FB Aaron Ripkowski

Round 6 (206), Green Bay Packers
It's unlikely the Sooners will feature a true fullback given the team is doubling-down on the Air Raid with the recent hire of offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. The backfield is loaded as is, but sophomore Dimitri Flowers is likely to assume the torch of lead blocker if the need arises for a fullback.

Oklahoma State

DB Josh Furman

Round 7 (252), Denver Broncos
The Cowboys return the bulk of their two-deep, but will have to figure out a replacement for the athletic Furman. Given the hybrid nature of the role he played in Stillwater, a number of players could take his spot, but look for Justin Phillips to be the starter after flashing plenty of potential last season as a freshman.


LB Paul Dawson

Round 3 (99), Cincinnati Bengals
It's nearly impossible to replace the instincts that Dawson displayed in coach Gary Patterson's defense, but the team might get an upgrade in athleticism with Sammy Douglas taking over at the linebacker spot.

OT Tayo Fabuluje

Round 6 (183), Chicago Bears
A veteran group on the offensive line shouldn't skip much of a beat with four starters returning, and Aviante Collins filling Fabuluje's spot at left tackle with plenty of experience under his belt already.


DT Malcom Brown

Round 1 (32), New England Patriots
The Longhorns already saw what Brown's replacement could do when Hassan Ridgeway developed into a quality starter last year. He'll draw more attention from opposing offenses while Paul Boyette Jr. or Naashon Hughes plays alongside him on the interior defensive line.

LB Jordan Hicks

Round 3 (84), Philadelphia Eagles
Five-star true freshman Malik Jefferson heads to Austin with a ton of hype and a lot of eyes on him as he potentially could be the guy who fills Hicks' spot. If he fails to live up to expectations early on, Tim Cole likely winds up as the starter.

S Mykkele Thompson

Round 5 (144), New York Giants
The battle to be Thompson's successor is wide open. Jason Hall and Dylan Haines earned valuable experience last season after being forced into action unexpectedly. Both figure to be in line to start. Junior Adrian Colbert and true freshman Deshon Elliott also will challenge for first-team reps.

CB Quandre Diggs

Round 6 (200), Detroit Lions
Few will come close to being as physical as Diggs was in the secondary, but Texas has a number of players who could help fill the starting cornerback spot opposite of Duke Thomas. Bryson Echols had a solid spring while Sheroid Evans, freshmen Holton Hill and Kris Boyd all will be in the mix, as well.

TE Geoff Swaim

Round 7 (246), Dallas Cowboys
Charlie Strong won't have many options at tight end heading into 2015, but that might not be quite the hit it once was thanks to the change to a more spread-based offense. Andrew Beck and Blake Whiteley figure to be first in line to start. Each brings something different to the table.

West Virginia

WR Kevin White

Round 1 (7), Chicago Bears
The Mountaineers have plenty of candidates to fill one of the top receiver spots for 2015, but few have much in terms of a quality resume to put forward. It's possible another White -- Juco transfer Ka'Raun White, Kevin's brother -- winds up the replacement for the Bears' first-rounder, but the battle to be the go-to receiver will likely come down to either Jordan Thompson or Daikiel Shorts. Shelton Gibson, K.J. Myers and Vernon Davis will also be in the mix.

OL Mark Glowinski

Round 4 (134), Seattle Seahawks
Tony Matteo emerged out of spring ball as the guy atop the depth chart at right guard, while Adam Pankey slid inside to man the left guard spot.

DE Shaq Riddick

Round 5 (158), Arizona Cardinals
West Virginia doesn't have to replace a ton on defense, but will have to find somebody who can fill the shoes of Riddick. Christian Brown emerged out of spring practice, but it's possible junior Larry Jefferson cuts into his playing time.

WR Mario Alford

Round 7 (238), Cincinnati Bengals
Shelton Gibson will be the immediate replacement for Alford at the X receiver position after being the backup last season as a rotation player, showing some promise down the stretch.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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