Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley go 1-2 in Kiper’s latest mock draft
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has been mocking since 1984, but that doesn’t make him immune from criticism.
When he released his second mock Wednesday, he projected the winless Cleveland Browns to take Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the first overall choice.
That prompted CBS Sports college football analyst Barrett Sallee to remind everyone that, statistically, Allen wasn’t even the best quarterback in the Mountain West.
Kiper’s Big Board also has been released and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is the overall top prospect, although he’s only going No. 2 to the New York Giants. He is followed by Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who plays cornerback and safety, and N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb.
By the way, Chubb collected 20 sacks and 46 1/2 tackles for loss in two seasons (none occurring in the Pitt game Oct. 14).
Speaking of Pitt, offensive tackle Brian O’Neill was not in Kiper’s most recent first-round mock, although he was going No. 16 to the Baltimore Ravens a month ago. O’Neill is the eighth tackle on Kiper’s board.
How that projects to O’Neill’s status on draft weekend will depend on how well he works out and what happens in the interviews at the NFL Combine next week, plus his workout at Pitt’s Pro Day.
O’Neill, a smart, friendly guy who plays with size, athleticism and accountability, should do well while the NFL pokes and prods at him.
The only other Pitt player of the seven going to the combine to make it onto Kiper’s top 10 positional rankings is punter Ryan Winslow (No. 6).
Aside from Barkley, Penn State is represented by tight end Mike Gesicki (No. 4) and wide receiver DeSean Hamilton (No. 9).
West Virginia safety Kyzir White (No. 8) and Slippery Rock fullback Marcus Martin (No. 9) also made it.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.