The Big Twelve Conference had a solid showing in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft, with seven players taken in the initial thirty-two picks. The St. Louis Rams took Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith with the second pick. A 6' 5", 309 pound converted tight end, Smith was the first non-special teams All American for Baylor since 1995. Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree was picked tenth by the San Francisco 49ers. Crabtree is easily the most talented receiver in this years draft, but dropped quite a few spots due to concerns over his attitude and resilience.
Brian Orakpo, former defensive end for the Texas Longhorns, was picked by the Washington Redskins as the 13th pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. By dropping to the Redskins, he is guaranteed to visit the state of Texas at least once every year, as he tees up Tony Romo in one of their two games every season. Said Orakpo shortly after the pick was announced:
I can't put it into words how I feel right now. Being a first-round draft pick is a dream come true. It really shows how hard work pays off and is a tribute to my family, coaches, teammates – everyone that helped me get here. It was tough to wait a little longer than I expected, but when it came down to the Washington Redskins, I was really excited. I had a great visit their with Mr. Snyder, Vinny Cerrato and Coach Zorn. It just felt like the perfect fit. It's a lot like Texas, a great organization with a proud history, a winning tradition, great fans. I can't wait to get to work and do my best to help the Redskins. I told them when we had dinner on my visit there that I guaranteed them I would work as hard as anybody, and now I'm ready to show them.