As the NFL sent out their official invitations to the 2017 Combine the talk surrounding the Big 12 was the lack of representation. Only 18 players from the conference received the coveted invitation to showcase their skills in front of NFL scouts and coaches.
Despite the low numbers Dana Holgorsen and the West Virginia Mountaineers take home bragging rights sending five of those 18 players from the Big 12. Center Tyler Orlosky, defensive back Rasul Douglas, receiver Shelton Gibson, defensive end Noble Nwachukwu and running back Rushel Shell all got the nod on Monday.
CBSSports.com currently has Tyler Orlosky projected in the 2nd to 3rd round as the third best center in the draft. Rasul Douglas is predicted to be a solid 3rd round draft pick coming in as the 15th best cornerback in the draft. Noble Nwachukwu comes in as the 23rd best defensive end in the draft predicted to go in the 7th round or sign as a free agent. Shelton Gibson is predicted to also be a late round selection coming in as the 31st best receiver in the draft. Rushel Shell is not currently predicted to be drafted but signed as a free agent.
Skyler Howard, Christian Brown, Daikiel Shorts Jr., and Darrien Howard are just a few Mountaineers that are also eligible for the NFL draft. The Mountaineers pro day will be in early April with most on this list expected to participate.
Rounding out the rest of the Big 12, Baylor and Oklahoma will send three, Oklahoma State and TCU will send two, with Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas State each sending one. Notable Big 12 snubs are Joe Mixon from Oklahoma and Baylor’s Ishmael Zamora. Both of which saw suspensions this past season. The NFL Combine goes from March 2-5.
Also of note, West Virginia native Ryan Switzer also received in invitation to the NFL Combine.