I received a text message near the end of the 2017 NFL Draft that simply read, “Texas is a joke.”
In the third round, Longhorns running back and Doak Walker Award winner D’Onta Foreman was selected by the Houston Texans.
Save for the reference to former Texas defensive back Adrian Colbert, who was taken in the seventh round by the San Francisco 49ers after finishing his career at the University of Miami, that was both the first and last time you heard a Longhorns player’s name called.
But the joke on football blue-blood Texas is almost over.
For the Longhorns, 2017 should be the last year it’s marginalized in the NFL draft. Texas has produced only seven draft picks the last four years. Whether it was recruiting during the end of the Mack Brown era or the lack of development during the Charlie Strong era, producing NFL-caliber football players has not been on order at Texas.
And the understood correlation between winning and NFL-caliber players is glaring and apparent with the last three seasons finishing 6-7, 5-7 and 5-7 under the since fired and replaced Strong.
Football elites, a group where Texas likens itself, like Michigan (11) and Alabama (10) had double-digit athletes drafted in 2017.
Rivals Texas A&M (5) and Oklahoma (4) dominated the draft compared to Texas’ one draft pick.
FCS schools Youngstown State and Eastern Washington and Division II West Georgia doubled Texas’ output with two draft picks.
Historically black colleges – usually strapped with budgetary and program constraints – like Grambling State and North Carolina A&T each equaled Texas with one draft pick.
The joke is almost over.
In the silly exercise of way-too-early mock drafts, offensive tackle Conner Williams and linebacker Malik Jefferson are both slated around the first round in 2018 were they to declare as juniors after this upcoming season.
During 2017, the recruiting of Strong and the development of Tom Herman will not only put Texas back in the NFL draft but will accomplish the most important goal of wins.
Texas fans have been patient since 2009 when Texas lost to Alabama in the national championship game.
And in just a little while, the joke might be on everyone else.
(You can follow Sean Adams on Twitter @thatsean)
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