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Take Two: Will Texas' first-round drought end soon?

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

Tom Herman
Tom Herman (AP Images)

RELATED: Is LSU finally ready to start developing QBs?

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the network of team sites or a regional analyst.


Texas has not had a first-round NFL Draft pick since defensive tackle Malcom Brown was selected last in that opening stanza by the New England Patriots in the 2015 draft.

That is a four-year dry spell and it’s something that opposing coaches on the recruiting trail could use to try to beat the Longhorns for elite talent.

It’s a challenge for coach Tom Herman and his staff in Austin but Texas has been recruiting incredibly well the past few recruiting cycles so the absence of Longhorns in that first round could be short-lived.

Texas has a lot of young defensive players who could emerge in that discussion especially Caden Sterns, Jalen Green, Anthony Cook and others. Receiver Collin Johnson, who will return next season, could crack a first-round grade.

In Texas’ No. 4-ranked 2019 recruiting class, five-star Bru McCoy and top-end four-stars Jordan Whittington, Tyler Owens and Jake Smith were the standouts.

Does Texas’ first-round drought continue for long and can Oklahoma, Texas A&M and others use it to their advantage? Or, are the Longhorns developing enough young talent so they’ll quickly return to relevancy in the first round of the NFL Draft soon?


“Tom Herman has the Longhorns recruiting at their highest level in years, and you can see the dividends paying off on the field with the season the team enjoyed in 2018, culminating with a convincing Sugar Bowl defeat of Georgia.

"Look at freshman defensive back Caden Sterns, who may be the best candidate to buck Texas’ first-round pick draft drought. Herman and his staff are continuing to bolster recruiting efforts — not only in the home state but nationwide. These are four- and five-star prospects, and enticing three-stars with upside. When these recruits develop on campus under Herman, it won’t be long before they eventually morph into first-round picks.

“It’s easy for surrounding schools like Texas A&M, Oklahoma and LSU to sell recruits on their first-round picks, especially given recent history. For some, it may work, but Herman can easily suggest that under his regime they’re changing the culture in Austin. Herman can sell prospects that they can be first-round picks if they choose to go there, so I’m not buying the negative recruiting.”


“Oklahoma has two No. 1s back-to-back at the same position, and then having Marquise Brown go in the first round, and four of its offensive linemen go by the end of the fourth round. That’s pretty impressive stuff.

“It can change pretty quickly though for Texas. I remember Notre Dame had quite the NFL Draft drought a few years ago and then it started putting guys in the first round fairly consistently. Oklahoma has put a lot of offensive guys in the first round over the last few drafts but Texas has a better chance of putting defensive guys in the first round over the next few years.”