Notre Dame Players Go From Round 1 To Round 7 In Latest CBS Mock Draft
CBS Sports draft analyst Josh Edwards has seven former Notre Dame players in his latest seven round mock draft. There was some good news in his mock for a couple of Irish players, but two selections were head scratchers.
The good news is for tight end Cole Kmet, who Edwards has going in the first round to the Green Bay Packers with the 30th overall pick. The Packers are in desperate need of additional weapons for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“Green Bay lost Jimmy Graham then went all in on Austin Hooper, but could not get a deal done. In the first round, they add a young tight end that can grow and be a part of the organization for a long time.”
This is the range where I see Kmet being most likely to go, the late first to early second round. Going to Green Bay, where he would join former teammates Equanimeous St. Brown and Dexter Williams, would be a great fit. Rodgers needs a middle-of-the-field weapon, and when you combine his accuracy with Kmet’s catch radius and downfield ball skills it would be an ideal match.
Up next is defensive end Julian Okwara, who is slated to go in the second round to the New York Jets with the No. 48 overall pick.
“New York has been looking to add a pass rush for quite some time. Okwara has an ideal frame and upside.”
This would be a tremendous fit for Okwara in many ways. New York is a 3-4 defense, which is the ideal scheme for Okwara, broadly speaking. The Jets also were a poor pass rushing defense last season, ranking 22nd out of 32 teams in total sacks. Their second leading sacker was safety Jamal Adams, and only two Jets had more than three sacks last season.
At the very least, Okwara should provide the Jets with a significant boost as a pass rusher in sub packages. At best, he becomes a more consistent run defender and becomes an impact three-down player.
Edwards has the Buffalo Bills taking cornerback Troy Pride Jr. in the third round with the No. 86 overall pick.
“Pride and Amik Robertson are my favorite slot cornerbacks. They can start for a long time. Buffalo has their replacement for Kevin Johnson, who signed with Cleveland.”
This is the second time in the last week I’ve seen Pride slotted to Buffalo with this third round pick. Beyond standout starter Tre’Davious White the Bills certainly have a need at cornerback and Pride would give them arguably the fastest corner in the draft. Pride is also an experienced defender with a strong record of thriving in man coverage.
Next up is defensive end Khalid Kareem, who is projected to go to the New York Giants in the third round, and 99th overall.
“Kareem can supply some pass rush on the edge for the Giants. They sorely need some.”
Kareem would certainly give the Giants a pass rush boost, but his game is more about being a strong all-around player. Not only did the Giants finish 21st in sacks, they ranked 20th against the run last season. Kareem would provide the Giants with an even bigger upgrade as an edge run defender, and I do believe he could thrive as a physical edge player in a 3-4 defense.
Edwards has the Cincinnati Bengals taking wide receiver Chase Claypool in the fourth round with the 107th overall pick.
“Claypool offers size to account for the potential eventual departure of A.J. Green.”
If Claypool is on the board when the Bengals pick comes up at No. 107 they should sprint to the podium with the card, or however players are going to get picked in this year’s draft. Landing Claypool in the fourth round would be an absolute steal for Cincinnati, and combined with quarterback Joe Burrow and center Cesar Ruiz - who Edwards has the Bengals taking in rounds one and two, - it would give Cincinnati a major offensive upgrade.
Regarding Claypool last to the fourth round, I’ll be absolutely shocked if it happens. I continue to be puzzled how someone can watch Claypool’s senior film, look at his his combine performance and see his experience at wide receiver and on special teams and think he’s anything lower than second round pick.
There isn’t another Notre Dame player in this mock draft until Jalen Elliott goes to the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round with the No. 234 overall pick.
“Los Angeles is not interested in defensive backs early but they would be enticed by Elliott being on the board this late.”
Elliott ran an incredibly disappointing 4.8 at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he’s faster than that and he plays faster than that. At a recent workout he reportedly ran a 4.54, which is closer to what I expected of him at the combine. It wouldn’t shock me if Elliott falls to the seventh round, but I could also see him going closer to round five depending on the fit.
The final Notre Dame player in this mock draft is Alohi Gilman, who is slated to go No. 254 overall to the Denver Broncos.
“Denver likes the value here, which is more important than addressing a need.”
There is a need here for Denver, who lost safety Will Parks in free agency. Gilman would be a major steal and fit for Denver this low in the draft. Like Claypool, I’ll be shocked if Gilman falls this far. I believe his production, experience, leadership, character and knack for making plays - combined with the impressive athleticism he showed at the combine - will make him a coveted player in the middle rounds.
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