Thoughts on the NFL draft’s first round
Below is the mock NFL draft of Lancaster’s draft expert, Dan Plack, courtesy of my friend and former colleague, Eric Stark (see his blog, starkravings.net).
I don’t see a lot of surprises here, with LSU’s Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young going 1-2, and Alabama QB Tu Tagovailoa also being selected in the top five. (The three-day draft starts Thursday.)
As for the Philadelphia Eagles, for several weeks I was fine – even happy – if LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson was their choice, as Plack and others project. Now I’m not as certain, as I’m beginning to think they can get a WR with as much upside or more in round two. This isn’t meant to be an indictment of Jefferson; it’s just that Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs are seen as the cream of the crop, and they are almost certain not to fall to No. 21. Would the Eagles be better off taking Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray in the first round, which some mock drafts project? Except the Birds never draft linebackers in round one (maybe they should start?).
(Also glad to see Penn State’s Yatur Gross-Matos projected to go at No. 27 to Seattle. That could be a good situation for him. I wish him the best.)
A final comment on the Eagles: Analyst Ray Didinger, whose judgment on this I really trust, loves Ruggs and thinks he’d be a great fit in Philadelphia. Do the Birds agree, and would they trade up in the first round if Ruggs slips past No. 15? Stay tuned!
1 CINCINNATI JOE BURROW QB LSU
2 WASHINGTON CHASE YOUNG EDGE OHIO ST.
3 DETROIT JEFF OKUDAH CB OHIO ST.
4 NY GIANTS ISAIAH SIMMONS LB CLEMSON
5 MIAMI TUA TAGOVAILOA QB ALABAMA
6 LA CHARGERS JUSTIN HERBERT QB OREGON
7 CAROLINA JEDRICK WILLS T ARIZONA
8 ARIZONA TRISTAN WIRFS T IOWA
9 JACKSONVILLE DERRICK BROWN DT AUBURN
10 CLEVELAND ANDREW THOMAS T GEORGIA
11 NY JETS JERRY JEUDY WR ALABAMA
12 LAS VEGAS CEEDEE LAMB WR OKLAHOMA
13 SAN FRANCISCO JAVON KINLAW DL S. CAROLINA
14 TAMPA JOSH JONES T HOUSTON
15 DENVER HENRY RUGGS WR ALABAMA
16 ATLANTA K’LAVON CHAISSON EDGE LSU
17 DALLAS C.J. HENDERSON CB FLORIDA
18 MIAMI XAVIER MCKINNEY S ALABAMA
19 LAS VEGAS KRISTIAN FULTON CB LSU
20 JACKSONVILLE TREVON DIGGS CB ALABAMA
21 PHILADELPHIA JUSTIN JEFFERSON WR LSU
22 BUFFALO DENZEL MIMS WR BAYLOR
23 NEW ENGLAND JORDAN LOVE QB UTAH ST.
24 NEW ORLEANS KENNETH MURRAY LB OKLAHOMA
25 MINNESOTA MEKHI BECTON T LOUISVILLE
26 MIAMI AUSTIN JACKSON T USC
27 SEATTLE KETUR GROSS-MATOS EDGE PENN ST.
28 BALTIMORE PATRICK QUEEN LB LSU
29 TENNESSEE A.J. TERRELL CB CLEMSON
30 GREEN BAY A.J.EPENESA EDGE IOWA
31 SAN FRANCISCO ZACH BAUN EDGE WISCONSIN
32 KANSAS CITY CESAR RUIZ C MICHIGAN