|Baylor WR Terrance Williams has made the loss of Kendall Wright to the NFL pretty easy to handle for the Bears. Like Wright, he's also worked his way to becoming a first-round prospect. (US Presswire)|
Baylor and West Virginia's defenses made some skill players look awfully good this week. Was it simply bad defense or do the talents equal the production?
Here's an update on the Big 12's top players who continue to help their NFL stock.
Why he has the top spot: Obviously the numbers blow you away. He's now on pace to break several NCAA single-season passing records. He's worked his way up to No. 4 on our prospect rankings, and the talk has started that he might be the first quarterback taken in the draft, ahead of USC's Matt Barkley. Watch the tape of Smith against Baylor and it's almost more convincing than the numbers. His accuracy was perfect, and he wasn't just dinking and dunking it down the field. Smith made several deep throws that were on the money. He had great pocket awareness and footwork, making subtle movements in the pocket to put himself in the perfect position to wait for his receivers to break open. He has yet to throw an interception and we're still waiting for him to make a questionable decision. The defenses he plays will get better -- the Mountaineers travel to Texas this week -- but so far, Smith has passed every test.
Season stats (four games): 141 of 169 (83.4 percent), 1,728 yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 99 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD.
Player ranking: Smith is ranked fourth overall and rated as the second-best quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Up next: Smith will go up against the most talented Big 12 defense in Texas, which ranks second in the Big 12 in interceptions (7) and fourth in sacks (9). The Longhorns gave up 301 passing yards to Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh last week, but they did pick off Walsh once.
2. WR Terrance Williams, 6-2, 205, Baylor
Why he has the second spot: In any other week, Williams would have earned the top spot with his performance. In fact, his 17 catches, 314 yards and two touchdowns against West Virginia rivals Smith's 636 passing yards. Much like Smith, watching Williams was just as impressive as his numbers. The West Virginia defensive backs were draped all over him on several of his catches. He's a big, physical receiver with speed and great hands. In other words, he's exactly what NFL teams are looking for in a receiver.
Season stats (four games): 34 receptions, 667 yards, 6 receiving touchdowns, first in FBS in receiving yards per game (166.75).
Player ranking: Williams is ranked 28th overall and is the fourth-highest receiver in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Why he has the third spot: Jeffcoat deserves to be higher after his performance; it's just there was almost no way he could have out-performed the guys above him. Jeffcoat was the best defensive player on the field Saturday in Stillwater, finishing with a team-best seven tackles -- four for a loss -- a sack and a forced fumble. His ability to get in the backfield is on display every week and makes him a first-round pick.
Season stats (four games): 25 tackles, 8 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 1 pass breakup, 5 QB hurries, 2 forced fumbles.
Player ranking: Jeffcoat is ranked 20th overall and is the third-highest rated defensive end in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Up next: Jeffcoat will have plenty of opportunities to rush the passer as West Virginia comes to Austin this week. West Virginia's offensive line has allowed four sacks this season.
Keep an eye on: WR Tavon Austin, 5-9, 172, West Virginia
Why you should watch him? When you look at his size, you think he's not an NFL-type receiver, but Austin is getting noticed. In the last two weeks, he's moved from 14th to 10th in CBSSports.com's wide receiver rankings and from 109th to 78th overall. Also, undersized receivers like Philadelphia's Desean Jackson prove that undersized receivers with elite speed can be successful in the league. Austin has the speed, the sure hands and an ability to find openings. And his production is difficult to ignore.
Season stats (four games): 48 receptions, 560 yards, 7 touchdowns, 84 rushing yards.
Player rankings: Austin is ranked 78th overall and ranks as the 10th-best wide receiver in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Up next: Austin will likely have the chance to go up against an NFL-caliber corner in Texas CB Carrington Byndom, who is projected to go in the second round of the NFL Draft.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).