Finally, Kentucky Wildcats fans, you have something to look forward to in April besides baseball, fishing, and yard work. You can be excited for the NFL Draft!
Without question, the eyes of the nation and, of course, the BBN, will be on the proceedings in Nashville where the Kentucky football players eligible for the draft will discover their new homes across the nation.
ESPN’s Todd McShay just released his second first-round mock draft for 2019. The lone Wildcat was outside linebacker Josh Allen. Allen was projected as the second overall selection heading to the San Francisco 49ers.
Here’s what McShay had to say.
The Niners really want an edge rusher after only DeForest Buckner cracked six sacks for them in 2018 (Buckner had 12). Allen blew up offensive linemen all season en route to 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss for the Wildcats. With his big 6-foot-5, 260-pound frame, Allen could line up as a defensive end in the 49ers’ 4-3 scheme if he tacks on some more weight.
In a second recent mock draft conducted by Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports two Wildcats are projected as first rounders.
Allen again is projected to the 49ers with Wilson:
Is Josh Allen the best pass rusher in the draft? That will be decided in the coming weeks and months, but no one did more for their draft stock than Allen, who returned to Kentucky for his senior season and went off. After seven sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in 2017, Allen gained 10-15 pounds of muscle and put up 14 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss and was pretty much unblockable. The 49ers need an edge rusher and Allen is it.
Senior Bowl standout cornerback Lonnie Johnson is projected as the 21st overall selection of the Seattle Seahawks.
Here’s what Wilson had to say about the corner.
Johnson looks like a Seahawks cornerback. He’s tall, fast and physical, but he’s also still very raw. That said, he had a strong Senior Bowl week and some scouts think he could end up being a first-round pick.
Elsewhere, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller recently released a seven-round mock draft shortly after the conclusion of the Super Bowl.
According to Miller, several UK players should be preparing to hear their names called in the 2019 NFL Draft. According to his projections, five Cats will be selected from April 25-27.
Let’s examine Miller’s prognostications.
With the third pick, the New York Jets selected Josh Allen.
Josh Allen is a 6’5”, 260-pound high-level athlete who also produced to the tune of 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss in 2018. He dominated SEC competition with speed, length and power. He’s not only the top senior in the 2019 draft class, but he’s also one of the better edge prospects in the last five years.
With the No. 62 selection, the third to last pick in the second round, the NFC runner-up New Orleans Saints chose cornerback Lonnie Johnson. Johnson’s stock is soaring after showing off his athleticism and frame at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Free safety Mike Edwards was a fourth round selection by the Tennessee Titans in Miller’s projection. The senior captain recorded 77 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a touchdown this season. His career in Lexington currently boasts ten interceptions. He is a smart, rangy player.
Also in the fourth round, the Chicago Bears selected running back Benny Snell. The Ohio native had 289 carries for 1,449 yards and 16 touchdowns during his junior campaign. He also had 17 receptions for 105 yards. Snell became an icon in Lexington, setting several records during his Wildcat career. In the Cats’ Citrus Bowl victory over Penn State, Snell became the program’s all-time leading rusher.
Finally, in the fifth round, the Buffalo Bills selected tight end CJ Conrad. Conrad excelled as a blocker and a pass catcher. The Ohio native recorded 30 receptions for 318 yards and three touchdowns this season.
There are also a handful of other Kentucky players that could hear their names called during the 2019 NFL Draft. Offensive guard Bunchy Stallings, cornerback Derrick Baity, cornerback Chris Westry, linebacker Jordan Jones, and safety Darius West are all among those with NFL aspirations.
April can’t get here quick enough for Big Blue!