NFL Draft: Kansas State’s Willis Misses Out on Round 1

Kansas State football’s great tradition of players going in the NFL Draft will continue Friday. Despite what many anticipated no team took Jordan Willis in round one.

The longest NFL draft streak among Big 12 schools belongs to the Kansas State Wildcats.

There was little doubt Jordan Willis would go in the draft. I expected him to go early.

Following his amazing senior season as the Big 12 defensive player of the year for Bill Snyder, Willis continued to impress. However, five other defensive ends went ahead of him in round one.

Snyder was confident when asked during a media briefing earlier this month

“I think what the NFL has learned about him has put him in a good position. I think he will go pretty high.”

On Thursday night when the Philadelphia Eagles selected Derek Barnett at 14, I really believed Willis would be the next defense end selected.

Wow, I was wrong.

Then the Redskins selected Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen. It was difficult being patient.

And difficult to see these Southeastern Conference guys going ahead of Willis.

When the Dolphins took Missouri defensive end Charles Harris at #22, I was shocked.

Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the start of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Including overall #1 pick Myles Garret of Texas A&M, five defensive ends were taken ahead of Willis.

Willis’ draft stock seemingly exploded upward since the Wildcat win in the Texas Bowl, his South team MOP award in the Senior Bowl and amazing performance at the NFL Combine.

Willis wowed scouts and many others at the NFL Combine.

His 40-yard dash time of 4.53 was among the fastest for Sunday’s group of Defensive Linemen and Linebackers. It was even faster than top pick Garrett’s 4.64.

Willis’ vertical jump was 39 compared to 41 for Garrett.

At the Senior Bowl, Willis had two sacks and two forced fumbles to lead his team to victory.

His speed and strength off the edge should have an immediate impact wherever he goes.