The NFL draft is like Christmas for draft analysts and predictors. And just like Christmas, it seems to come earlier and earlier every year.
We are still over four months from the 2018 NFL draft. The regular season still has three weeks left in it. The college bowl season has not begun yet. And we won’t even know the final first round draft order for nearly two months when a Super Bowl champion is crowned.
But who cares about all that...says Todd McShay. Let’s get to the mock drafting!
If the season ended today, the Raiders would be picking at number 12. That’s where Todd McShay has them selecting in his mock draft 1.0 and he has them going right back to the Ohio State well, selecting Denzel Ward as the first cornerback taken in the draft.
Picking a Buckeye cornerback with their top pick is just what the Raiders did last year when they selected Gareon Conley at 24 overall. That pick hasn’t worked out so well so far, with a shin injury landing him on injured reserve after appearing in just two games this season.
Basically next season will be like Conley’s rookie season and McShay’s prediction is the Raiders look to shore up their defensive secondary woes with two young top pick Buckeyes.
The Oakland passing defense has been a sieve this season, allowing 7.7 yards per attempt (27th), and 2017 first-round pick Gareon Conley is still an unknown after playing only two games this season. Ward lacks ideal starting experience but has been exceptional this season at Ohio State. He's the best pure man-to-man cover corner in this class.
Conley wasn’t even the top cornerback taken out of Ohio State last year. That was Marshon Lattimore who went to the Saints at pick 11. Another Buckeye DB was taken just a few spots after Lattimore with safety Malik Hooker going to the Colts at 15.
I guess there’s just something about Ohio State defensive backs. Either it’s the system or they’re just better at recruiting DB’s than most schools. Lattimore played outstanding for the Saints this season, but until Conley sees more time on the field we won’t entire know for sure if there’s just something in the water in Columbus.