ESPN analyst Mel Kiper released his latest mock draft Wednesday, and he currently projects 11 SEC players as first round picks.
The biggest winner in Kiper’s mock is LSU’s Jamal Adams. Consistently rated as a top-five prospect, Kiper has now moved Adams up to No. 3 overall. Adams went fourth in Kiper’s previous mock.
“This might be a high pick for the traditional version of a safety, but Adams is more than that,” Kiper wrote. “He’s a true hybrid who never has to come off the field, because he can run and cover but also is a beast as an in-the-box defender.”
Alabama has five selections in Kiper’s first round mock, which would be one short of Miami’s record for most first rounders in a single draft.
Kiper has former Crimson Tide DL Jonathan Allen as the first Alabama player off the board, No. 4 to Jacksonville. He has the Jets taking O.J. Howard at No. 6, which is a popular projection for the tight end. Reuben Foster’s stock dropped slightly in Kiper’s eyes after his dismissal from the combine, going No. 15 to the Colts.
Despite Kiper’s vocal opposition to taking running backs in the first round, he projects former LSU RB Leonard Fournette to the Carolina Panthers at No. 8. He has Fournette as the first back off the board, ahead of Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, who went to Green Bay at No. 29.
Missouri DE Charles Harris and Tennessee DE Derek Barnett continue to work their way up the board. Previously projected as late first round prospects by evaluators, both have moved up into the low 20s for Kiper.
Here’s every first-round selection for the SEC in Kiper’s latest mock:
1. Cleveland Browns – Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett
3. Chicago Bears – LSU S Jamal Adams
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Alabama DL Jonathan Allen
6. New York Jets – Alabama TE O.J. Howard
8. Carolina Panthers – LSU RB Leonard Fournette
15. Indianapolis Colts – Alabama LB Reuben Foster
21. Detroit Lions – Missouri DE Charles Harris
23. New York Giants – Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
24. Oakland Raiders – LSU CB Tre’Davious White
25. Houston Texans – Alabama OT Cam Robinson
32. New Orleans Saints – Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey