Texas Tech’s streak of five straight years with a player selected in the NFL draft may be in jeopardy.
Even with five Red Raiders declaring for the draft, do not expect the program record of four players being selected in the current format to be broken.
Realistically, do not anticipate any Red Raiders being selected in the first two days of the draft. The time to tune in will be Saturday, where players such as T.J. Vasher and Jack Anderson are ranging anywhere from a 5th to 7th round pick.
For Zech McPhearson, Eli Howard, and Thomas Leggett, if their names are called, expect it to be late in the afternoon Saturday. Even if they are not chosen, all five should end up with a team after the undrafted free agent signing period.
For Texas Tech fans anticipating a first round selection similar to Jordyn Brooks in 2020 — wait until 2022, according to some way too early mock drafts.
Here is where mock drafts have these former Red Raiders going:
Jack Anderson, OL
Going into 2019, everybody expected Anderson would be suiting up for his final season as a Red Raider. Fast forward three games into the campaign, and the veteran suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the year.
Due to the uncertainty of his draft stock during his recovery, Anderson returned in 2020, being named first-team All-Big 12 for the first time.
Anderson’s name has been thrown around as a potential second day selection, but has slowly started to settle as a third day pick.
Dan Schmelzer, Fansided: 5th round, 180th pick by the San Francisco 49ers
Tucker Franklin, Sports Illustrated Now: 5th round, 182nd pick by the Kansas City Chiefs
Terence Watson, SB Nation: 6th round, 226th pick by the Dallas Cowboys
CBS Sports, Josh Edwards: 7th round, 258th pick by the Green Bay Packers
T.J. Vasher, WR
We have yet to see Vasher compete in a game since adding 35 pounds this offseason.
The receiver’s career was highlighted with circus catches, but inconsistencies began to plague him in his later years.
Vasher may have benefitted from leaving after the 2019 season as 2020 was his worst year to date. But the wideout still finished in Lubbock 17 yards shy of 2,000 for his career, and his 6-6, 215 pound frame is one that intrigues scouts.
He truly is a wildcard, having the largest potential draft range on the team.
Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports: 5th round, 183rd pick by the Atlanta Falcons
Damian Parson, Fansided: 7th round, 208th pick by the Arizona Falcons
Zech McPhearson, DB
McPhearson took one of the biggest leaps on the team between 2019 and 2020.
The cornerback went from having no turnovers in his first year in Lubbock to leading the conference in takeaways a year later.
When he was not taking balls away, he was swatting them away. His 10 pass deflections ranked in the top 10 in the Big 12.
McPhearson’s name is not getting a lot of traction, but somebody may take a chance on him late.
Ryan Honey, Elite Sports NY: 6th round, 202nd pick by the New York Giants
Potential undrafted free agents
Eli Howard, DE: Having played college football for six years, it is no surprise that the experienced Howard entered into the NFL draft. In each of his four playing seasons at Tech, he garnered the respect of coaches and media, winning All-Big 12 honors. After 2.5 sacks in 2020, he finished 9th all-time in program history with 16.5 total. Howard is on the border of being a 7th round pick or an undrafted free agent, but predictions are leaning in favor of his name not being called.
Thomas Leggett, S: Of the five Red Raiders who have declared for the NFL draft, Leggett is the only one who has yet to garner talks of being selected. The stats will show he finished 6th on the team with 39 tackles while forcing no turnovers, but the tapes will show his consistent ability to make open-field tackles.
Way too early look at 2022
Though he has yet to play a game in the scarlet and black, Tyler Shough will look to become the highest Red Raider draft pick in decades. The quarterback is already earning talks of becoming the first overall selection in 2022, which would be Tech’s first since 1964.