Busy Second Round For Notre Dame Players In Latest Draftwire Mock
The mock drafts are coming out hot and heavy as the April NFL Draft gets closer and closer. There are three former Notre Dame players going in round two in the latest Draftwire mock from Luke Easterling.
First off the board is tight end Cole Kmet, who Easterling has going No. 43 to the Chicago Bears. This has been a common placement for Kmet, with the Bears needing a tight end even after signing the aging Jimmy Graham. This is also where Easterling had Kmet in his last mock draft.
While most analysts have Kmet falling down to the Bears at No. 43 or No. 50, I won’t be surprised to see a team take him earlier, even in the first round. My logic is two-fold, the first being I grade Kmet a first-round caliber player.
I constantly read about how bad of a tight end draft this is, and many draft analysts are dropping Kmet with that in mind. I have actually seen a couple of mock drafts that dropped him to round three. There is no way that happens in my opinion, but the fact it is such a weak tight end draft should actually boost Kmet’s draft stock.
In my view there’s a big drop off between Kmet and the rest of the tight end board, which makes him a hotter commodity. Teams will have a much better chance at getting a talented tight end in rounds three and four than a tight end, so if it comes down to taking a tight end or wide receiver late in the first round or early in the second round, that could result in teams prioritizing Kmet in those spots.
If there is a feeling among decision makers that the Bears want Kmet that bad then a team could very well leap ahead of them in the draft.
Wide receiver Chase Claypool is next, going No. 51 to the Dallas Cowboys, where he would join former Irish standouts Zack Martin and Jaylon Smith. This is two spots lower than where Claypool was in the last Draftwire mock draft. In the last mock, Easterling had Claypool going to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cowboys could use a second tight end and they could use a big player at wide receiver, and Claypool could fill either role for head coach Mike McCarthy and Dallas.
Defensive end Julian Okwara is up two spots, going No. 54 overall to the Buffalo Bills. In the last mock, Easterling had the former Irish pass rush going to the Miami Dolphins. The Bills fit is interesting in that they are a 4-3 defense, which means Okwara would need to be a hand-in-the-ground edge player.
I’m of the view that Okwara would be better suited in a 3-4 defense, especially when you consider his run game struggles in 2019.