The latest scouting news and notes coming from the Big 12.  Who is rising up draft boards and what players are heading in the other direction?  What juniors are likely to leave for the NFL in January?  Here’s the latest from out on the road including a some major news from Norman, Oklahoma.



– Baylor center J.D. Walton is flying up draft boards and a number of scouts we’ve spoken with rank him higher than Matt Tennant of Boston College.  Walton has a bit more girth on his frame and is a lot more fluid and explosive at the point blocking in motion.  We expect both to battle at the Senior Bowl in January.

– Another lineman from Baylor getting a lot of talk in scouting circles lately is junior defensive tackle Phil Taylor.  Several sources have told us he has big time ability and a lot of upside potential.  Taylor played at Penn State in ’06 and ’07 but was dismissed from the program along with Chris Baker, who is now with the Denver Broncos.  There’s a slight chance Taylor could leave college and enter the draft after the season, as Baker did earlier this year.

– Expect a trio of underclassmen from Oklahoma to enter the draft starting with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.  Sources have told us McCoy has accomplished just about everything possible on the college level and the fact he’s likely to be a top six choice in April’s draft makes early entry a no brainer.  The situation with Sam Bradford is also having an impact on his decision making.  Speaking of Bradford.

– Prior to Sam Bradford reinjuring his shoulder in the game against Texas sources had told us he was likely enter the draft despite how the season played out.  The thought process is there’s a bigger risk for Bradford if he returns to OU then has a bad season.  If he went back to Norman and played poorly in 2010, scouts would question the stability of his shoulder and Bradford would slip further in the draft.  Again, before this weekend sources told us there was still a chance Bradford could have his shoulder operated on at some point late in the season or immediately after the campaign.  If he had the joint surgically repaired then performed poorly for Oklahoma in 2010, fingers would again be pointed at the injury.  Even with the present shoulder injury sources feel there’s plenty of film prior to 2009 for scouts to go on and make a decision where he’ll be selected in round one.  If he does enter the draft as expected, combine doctors will give Bradford’s shoulder a thorough going over in late February.

– Cornerback Dominique Franks is set to leave Norman for the draft after the season.  Sources have told us Franks has aligned himself with financial planners who are mapping out his course of action leading to the April event.  We raved about Franks in our Big 12 preview and feel he’s one of the better corners in the nation, though he has made a number of mental mistakes this season.

– Even before his NCAA suspension sources told us Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant was ready to enter the draft after the season.  Bryant would like to get back on the field for the Cowboys bigger games this year and quell the criticism he disappears in the important contests.

– Surprisingly scouts recent criticism of Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung centers on his anchor in pass protection.  Some feel he struggles to hold the point on passing downs, something we disagree with and find strange since he’s a terrific run blocker.

– Texas Longhorn defensive end Sergio Kindle is moving up draft boards.  Scouts feel he has a great NFL frame (6-foot, 4-inches and 235lbs) plus the athleticism to make a seamless transition to outside linebacker in the 3-4.  Remember, Kindle now lines up at defensive end but spent most of the last three seasons on the field at linebacker for the Longhorns.

– There’s word coming from Austin that Texas junior defensive end Sam Acho could enter the draft after the season.  Acho was moved into the starting line-up upon the graduation of Brian Orakpo and leads the Longhorns with five sacks after six games.  Acho also has seven tackles for loss and has recovered four fumbles to date.

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