Mel Kiper Has Five LSU Players Going in First Round Mock Draft 2.0
The NFL combine is just a little over a week away and the 2020 NFL draft, just two short months away. For many LSU football players from last season's national championship squad, their lives will change forever, their dreams will come to fruition.
On Tuesday, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper released his Mock Draft 2.0 and there was a heavy flavor of Tigers going in the first 32 picks.
Here are the five players Kiper has going in the first round and his analysis of each pick:
Joe Burrow (No. 1 overall- Cincinnati Bengals)
"I don't see this changing over the next two months, and ESPN's Adam Schefter has already reported that the Bengals have no intention of trading down. The Heisman Trophy winner will immediately become the face of the franchise. It's time to move on from Andy Dalton -- could they get back a draft pick in a trade? -- but Cincinnati stills needs to put some more pieces around Burrow, starting with franchise-tagging or extending A.J. Green. The Bengals also have to draft an impact player with the first pick of the second round."
K'Lavon Chaisson (No. 14 overall- Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
"I mentioned in my Mock Draft 1.0 the Bucs' possible departures along the defensive line -- Ndamukong Suh, Carl Nassib, Jason Pierre-Paul and Beau Allen are all free agents -- and Chaisson would be a perfect fit as an outside linebacker in Todd Bowles' 3-4 defense. Chaisson had just 9.5 sacks in his college career, but this is a bet on a terrific upside for a twitchy pass-rusher who should test well at the combine later this month. After taking Devin White in the first round last year, Tampa can go back to the LSU well here with Chaisson."
Patrick Queen (No. 28 overall- Baltimore Ravens)
"I love the fit with Queen in Baltimore, which lost C.J. Mosley in free agency last offseason and could replace him a year later with a sideline-to-sideline run-and-hit inside linebacker. This is one of the NFL's best rosters -- look no further than the Ravens putting 12 players in the Pro Bowl -- so it's tough to find a position outside of middle linebacker that could see a rookie come in and start on day one. Keep an eye on a possible trade-down situation here with teams trying to trade into Round 1 to get their guy."
Justin Jefferson (No. 30 overall- Green Bay Packers)
"Aaron Rodgers isn't getting any younger; it's time for the Packers to use a first-round pick on a receiver. Davante Adams was the only Green Bay pass-catcher to have more than 53 targets last season, and he had 127. This team needs a competent No. 2 wideout. Jefferson broke out in a big way last season, catching 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. You might remember him from his four-touchdown performance against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal. He led the FBS in total catches and first-down receptions (66). If Green Bay cuts Jimmy Graham, it would become a candidate to take the first tight end off the board in this class."
Grant Delpit (No. 31 overall- San Francisco 49ers)
"As I mentioned last month, the 49ers have to get this pick right because they don't have another selection until the fifth round. No pressure, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Delpit struggled through an ankle injury last season and needs work as a tackler, but I'm betting on his upside as an athletic, versatile safety. The Niners could lose Jimmie Ward in free agency, and Delpit would help fill that void. Wide receiver is also an interesting position to keep an eye on for San Francisco, which could let free-agent Emmanuel Sanders walk and replace him with a playmaker from a super-deep class."
It will be interesting to see if any of these players can improve their draft stock at the combine as well. Delpit feels like a prime candidate as one of the knocks on him was his drop in production but he did play through a pretty severe ankle injury during the latter part of the regular season.
With five players in Kiper's mock draft and 16 LSU players invited to the NFL Combine next week, the Tigers can not only set program records for players drafted in a single year but also use the success for recruiting purposes.