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John Ross got the Huskies off to a hot start last night going #9 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. That spot was 7-10 spots higher than most people thought and seemed to bode well for the rest of the Dawgs. Unfortunately, Ross was the only UW player drafted in the 1st round. However, 3⁄4 of the Husky secondary should be selected today as well as potentially two members of the defensive line.
Kevin King- CB
Check out my slightly more in-depth profile of King from yesterday here. About 2⁄3 of the mock drafts I looked at prior to the draft had King going in the 1st round but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. He was also one of only 5 players invited to the draft who weren’t selected in the 1st round. King shouldn’t have to wait long to go off the board though today. He should be considered one of the favorites to be taken with the 1st pick tonight at #33 by Green Bay and if they pass on him he would likely also be a target for the Seahawks at #34. Four re-drafts this morning have King going #34, #36, #52, and #53 so it seems impossible he’ll fall out of the 2nd.
Highest Pick: #11- New Orleans Saints
Lowest Pick: #47- Baltimore Ravens
Most Common Pick: #24- Oakland Raiders
Composite Prospect Ranking: 29th Overall, 3rd Cornerback
Budda Baker- S
Oftentimes, great college players have no chance to make it in the pros because of some type of limited physical trait. That’s not Budda. Baker is instead the type of prospect who was a great college player that will likely be just a very good pro because of a limited physical trait. If Budda were 6’2 instead of 5’10, he likely would’ve been in the mix with Malik Hooker and Jamal Adams as top-15 picks.
It won’t take very long though for Baker to hear his name called today. Most people viewed him as an early 2nd round prospect so the fact that he’s still available as the 2nd round kicks off means he could go within the first couple of picks along with King. The four re-draft mocks I looked at this morning had him going #45, #45, #49, and #63 so middle of the 2nd seems the most likely.
Highest Pick: #30- Pittsburgh Steelers
Lowest Pick: #63- Atlanta Falcons
Most Common Pick: #49- Washington Redskins
Composite Prospect Ranking: 47th Overall, 5th Safety
Sidney Jones- CB
Coming into the season, Jones was viewed as a sure-fire 1st round pick. Coming out of the NFL combine, Jones was viewed as a sure-fire 1st round pick. And then Jones tore his Achilles during the UW pro day and so had to endure yesterday night without his phone ringing. Jones is optimistic that he will be able to come back fully healthy half way through the 2017 NFL season. Ian Rapaport reported that Jones’s doctor sent a medical report on Tuesday to all teams stating that he is on schedule for a potential September return.
But most teams will draft him with the expectation that he will have to essentially redshirt next season. It becomes a risk/reward evaluation where a team can have a likely pro-bowl level talent but will likely have to waste a year of player control without a guarantee that he comes back the exact same player.
That calculation seems like it is going to result in teams giving a 1-2 round penalty for the injury concern. Only 8 of the 30 mock drafts I looked at went through the 3rd round. They were split, 4 to 4 on whether Jones would go in the 2nd or the 3rd. Hopefully the promising report from his doctor will be enough to make it the 2nd. Of the 4 re-draft mocks I looked at, they had him at #68, #68, #69, and not drafted tonight. Frankly, I’d be shocked if he falls until the 4th round and if he does, I’ll never forgive the Seahawks for not taking him with one of their 4 late 3rd round picks.
Highest Pick: #52- Cleveland Browns
Lowest Pick: #91- Kansas City Chiefs
Most Common Pick: #52- Cleveland Browns
Average Selection: 64th Overall, 9th Cornerback
Elijah Qualls- DT
Qualls marks the 4th of the Huskies who decided to enter the NFL Draft early. It’s much harder in football than in basketball to determine whether it was a good decision to leave. You have to weigh the slot that a player is selected against the likelihood that they would have gone higher with another year and the consequences of putting another year of wear on the body. In most cases, if you get taken in the first 3 rounds it was probably a good decision. We’ll see if that’s the case for Elijah Qualls.
Qualls could see his name called towards the end of the night but likely will end up going tomorrow. During the season, Qualls seemed like he could go as high as the late 1st round but his stock has continually dropped. Below, you can see how Qualls’ performance at the combine stacked up against other DTs.
Qualls showed good strength and decent burst but his small arms and hands might lead teams to worry about his ability to adequately gain leverage and use that strength to its full potential at the next level. Right now, he’s a little bit too small to be a full nose tackle and a little too big to be a pass rushing tackle. Qualls insists he can lose or gain weight to do either and where he falls will likely depend on whether teams believe that. There’s a chance that he’ll go in the 3rd but the most likely placement seems to be the 4th.
Highest Pick: #95- Atlanta Falcons
Composite Prospect Ranking: 137th Overall, 12th Defensive Tackle
JoJo Mathis- DE/OLB
Before breaking his foot, JoJo Mathis was in the midst of a breakout season and seemed poised to rocket up draft boards. His presence elevated Washington’s pass rush to another level and his loss was a huge blow for the defense. Coming into the season, Mathis probably was 50/50 to even be drafted so it still has to be a success for him to have an outside shot at going in the 3rd round.
Prior to the combine there was talk of Mathis as a sleeper prospect, but his decision to do the running drills there seems to have hurt him. Only one of the 8 drafts that went through the 3rd round thought Mathis would be drafted tonight. None of the re-draft mocks I looked at had him going in the 2nd or 3rd. If a team has given him a clean bill on his medicals, Mathis could represent a steal for someone who takes him at the end of the 3rd but likely will be called tomorrow.
Highest Pick: #99- Philadelphia Eagles
Composite Prospect Ranking:151st Overall, 19th Edge Rusher
For those who like to see how well the rest of the conference is represented, here’s a list of non-UW Pac-12 players who could be taken tonight.
Marcus Williams- S
Highest Pick: #31- Atlanta Falcons
Lowest Pick: #72- New England Patriots
Most Common Pick: #52- Cleveland Browns
Composite Prospect Ranking: 54th Overall, 6th Safety
Isaac Asiata- OG
Highest Pick: #73- Cincinnati Bengals
Composite Prospect Ranking: 119th Overall, 16th Offensive Lineman
Brian Allen- CB
Highest Pick: #105- Pittsburgh Steelers
Composite Prospect Ranking: 130th Overall, 20th CB
Chidobe Awuzie- CB
Highest Pick: #21- Detroit Lions
Lowest Pick: #54- Miami Dolphins
Most Common Pick: #29- Green Bay Packers
Composite Prospect Ranking: 36th Overall, 6th Cornerback
Akhello Witherspoon- CB
Highest Pick: #58- Seattle Seahawks
Composite Prospect Ranking: 81st Overall, 14th CB
JuJu Smith-Schuster- WR
Highest Pick: #33- Cleveland Browns
Lowest Pick: #73- Cincinnati Bengals
Most Common Pick: #44- Arizona Cardinals
Composite Prospect Ranking: 48th Overall, 5th Wide Receiver
Zach Banner- OL
Highest Pick: #97- Miami Dolphins
Composite Prospect Ranking: 144th Overall Overall, 19th Offensive Lineman
Fabian Moreau- CB
Highest Pick: #59- Kansas City Chiefs
Lowest Pick: #76- New Orleans Saints
Composite Prospect Ranking: 61st Overall, 9th CB
Eddie Vanderdoes- DT
Highest Pick: #90- Seattle Seahawks
Composite Prospect Ranking: 140th Overall, 13th Defensive Tackle
Davis Webb- QB
Highest Pick: #25- Houston Texans
Lowest Pick: #94- Pittsburgh Steelers
Composite Prospect Rankings: 59th Overall, 5th QB
Chad Hansen- WR
Highest Pick: #103- New Orleans Saints
Composite Prospect Ranking: 159th Overall, 20th Wide Receiver
Feel free to follow along in the comments as the draft unfolds tonight.