The University of Texas has been one of the top NFL pipelines in recent history, having more than 40 players drafted in the last 10 years. That trend came to a halt this season with no Longhorns selected. It was the first time a Texas player wasn't picked since 1938, according to Field Yates of ESPN.
Texas hasn't had typical Texas-like seasons the last few years, but the Longhorns still managed to produce NFL talent, including 2012 first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro. Most NFL Draft analysts pegged defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat as the Longhorns' top prospect. Jeffcoat won the Hendricks Award for the top defensive end in college football, an honor which typically bodes well for the player's draft prospects. Not this year.
Out of the Hendricks Award winners since 2002, only three went after first round, all were drafted. Jackson Jeffcoat the recent anomaly.— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) May 10, 2014
Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft ranked Jeffcoat as the No. 127-overall prospect, with a number of draft analysts projecting him as a mid-round pick. Wide receiver Mike Davis, defensive tackle Chris Whaley and cornerback Carrington Byndom were Texas' other top prospects, according to Kadar. Although 2014 breaks the streak of having at least one player selected every year since 1938, it isn't the first time the Longhorns didn't have a player picked in the top seven rounds during that time. The NFL Draft previously extended beyond seven rounds, aiding the streak.
This officially is Texas' longest wait for its first pick since Ernie Koy went in the 11th round in 1965.— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) May 10, 2014
As for why the streak came to an end? It wasn't from a lack of talent coming out of the state of Texas. The Lone Star State produced the third-most picks of any state. Texas A&M didn't have any issues either, having three players picked in the first round. The streak may have been kept alive had quarterback Garrett Gilbert not transferred. Gilbert left during his junior season, finishing his career at Southern Methodist University. He was picked in the sixth round by the Rams.
The lack of top-end NFL talent is part of the reason Charlie Strong is the new head coach at Texas. Four of his players at Louisville were drafted, including three in the first round. If he's able to develop talent at Texas like he did at Louisville, the Longhorns just might start a new streak next year. It wouldn't be the first time they had a big gain in NFL talent in one season.
In '83, Texas had only 2 draft picks, a 6th and 7th rounder. The next year, UT produced NFL record 17 draft choices.— Suzanne Halliburton (@suzhalliburton) May 10, 2014