The czar of the NFL draft has his first mock out and it has some predictability for the New York Giants along with a surprise selection for the New York Jets.
Mel Kiper rolled out his first mock draft on Thursday, a move that was met with plenty of hype by ESPN. Kiper’s mocks are among the most-read of the draft season and dissected by nearly every pundit and paper. As such, it carries more weight than most mock drafts.
All of which is to say that this is a big deal.
So when Kiper had the Cleveland Browns taking Josh Allen, the Wyoming quarterback at No. 1 overall, some eyebrows were raised. After all, the consensus was that USC quarterback Sam Darnold was the lock at this point to go first overall.
But then Kiper came down to earth, going with UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen at No. 2 to the Giants.
Kiper notes the injury concerns as well as the issues off the field but seems to think this could be a good pick for a team that faces a somewhat uncertain future with incumbent quarterback Eli Manning.
“But some team is going to draft him high -- he has rare arm talent and has been much more secure with the ball than Darnold and Allen. The Giants could move into life after Eli Manning with a new franchise quarterback.”
Almost every mock draft up to this point has the Giants taking Rosen with the second pick
There was no quarterback for the Jets at sixth overall, with Kiper mocking Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The junior is coming off an impressive season for the national champions where he had five tackles in their win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff. Fitzpatrick is considered the top defensive back in the NFL draft.
The selection of Fitzpatrick would be the fourth defensive back taken by the Jets in the first round of the last six NFL Drafts.
Only Jamal Adams, a safety taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, remains on the team from those defensive backs. The Jets haven’t taken an offensive player in the first round since Mark Sanchez in 2009.