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Longhorns in the Draft Day 2: Johnny Football Joins Vince, Jeffcoat’s Turn?

Longhorns in the Draft Day 2: Jeffcoat's Turn?

Longhorn players didn’t sniff round one last night at the 2014 NFL Draft, and it’s looking increasingly likely that none will be selected tonight, when rounds two and three begin. That’s because many players expected to come off the board last night—Notre Dame DT Louis Nix, USC WR Marquise Lee, and Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro are three who stand out—are still available, making it less likely for Jackson Jeffcoat, a sleeper whom some draft pundits named as a reach possibility for round three, to land with an NFL team before the weekend starts.

On CBSSports.com’s list of the five best available prospects per position list, there is nary a Longhorn named. That’s 70 players their senior draft analyst thinks are better than any Texas player. Of course, that doesn’t account for better depth at certain positions and team needs.

What every Longhorn fan—and every person following the draft for that matter—was watching for last night, instead of hoping to see a former UT player go early, was the draft position of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. He slid past the Cowboys, picking 16th, all the way to Cleveland, where he’ll join Texas great Vince Young, should Vince make the team out of camp. He didn’t look too thrilled to land at 22 to the Browns, the exact same slot in which the team has picked a quarterback in the first round in 2012 and 2007. He joins failed college prospects Brandon Weeden and Brady Quinn in that distinction.

Many Longhorn fans couldn’t care less about where former players land—Texas fans come together to root for former Horns regardless—but all higher draft selections can do is help with recruiting during the Charlie Strong era. Texas fans should at least mildly root for a team in need of defensive end depth to reach for Jeffcoat or a club with strong needs at wide receiver to take a chance on Davis earlier than later. If the sixth or seventh round is the best this class can do, it will be a blight on the recruiting prowess of UT. Remember, 7th rounders and UDFAs are the first to get cut from NFL rosters, and the more Longhorns in the NFL doing well—and earning new contracts—the more blue-chip prospects will want to come to the university.

Otherwise, just root for an unlikely Vince Young–Johnny Manziel showdown at QB in Cleveland.

Image courtesy UT Athletics

 

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