ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his latest first-round mock draft ($) Tuesday morning and for the first time, former Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin has made an appearance.
This mock draft comes just a few days after McLaurin’s agent Buddy Baker tweeted the following.
— Buddy Baker (@ESG_Baker) March 20, 2019
Kiper has McLaurin going No. 26 overall to the Indianapolis Colts. Kiper bases his mock drafts on team needs, who is available, and also what he is told by front office personnel.
McLaurin started every game for the Buckeyes last season, catching 35 passes for 701 yards (20.0) and 11 touchdowns. Those aren’t huge numbers, but they’re pretty big when you consider he was splitting time with fellow receivers Johnnie Dixon and Binjimen Victor.
His value was also seen on special teams as a gunner, and also as a blocker on offense, where it was routine to see him taking out more than one defender on any given play.
To be honest, doing this makes me happier than scoring 💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/Rqpg4cFPpV
— Terry McLaurin (@TheTerry_25) September 23, 2018
Buckeye fans saw his value every week, but the NFL didn’t really start taking notice until the Senior Bowl, where he was a late addition. He shined the whole week, catching everything, running crisp routes, and being a leader among his peers. Teams were impressed upon meeting him and no red flags were found.
Then he went to the NFL Combine, caught everything again, and busted out a 4.35. More teams talked to him and more teams came away impressed. Then came Ohio State’s pro day, where he again was great.
Having McLaurin land with the Colts would be interesting because he is from Indianapolis and grew up idolizing former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison.
Growing up in Indianapolis I watched this mans every move, wanted to be just like him when I played. I still got his fathead on my wall in Indy. Told him thanks for inspiring me to be the best. Never flashy, just always do your job.💪🏾 #OGMarvin pic.twitter.com/gRKB7ruJHZ
— Terry McLaurin (@TheTerry_25) March 19, 2019
Also appearing in Kiper’s latest mock draft were a couple of guys named Dwayne Haskins and Nick Bosa. Parris Campbell and Dre’Mont Jones were in Kiper’s initial mock, but have since dropped out.
Bosa is actually the first Buckeye off the board as expected, going No. 2 overall to the San Francisco 49ers. The West Coast has seen how well Joey Bosa has done, and it would not be surprising to see the Niners try to get in on that with a younger version.
Kiper still has the New York Giants selecting quarterback Dwayne Haskins at No. 6 overall. There have been conflicting reports that Haskins is their guy, and also that they may wait until the second round to grab a quarterback.
There could also be a team that trades up ahead of the Giants in order to select Haskins. If the Giants do want Haskins, they may also be forced to trade up to make sure they get him.
Or maybe everyone in the top 10 will pass on him and he can fall to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 11.
Other names of note include 5-foot-10 Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray going No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals, who selected UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen with the tenth overall pick last year. Rosen started 13 games for the Cardinals, leading them to a 3-10 record in those starts.
Kiper has the Buffalo Bills selecting Michigan defensive end Rashan Garry with the ninth pick. Two picks later, UM linebacker Devin Bush is projected to the Bengals.
This year, the NFL Draft will once again be split over three days, with the first round taking place on April 25.