ESPN analyst Mel Kiper is an institution seemingly as old as the NFL Draft itself. Every year, right or wrong, you can depend on Kiper (and his resplendent hair) dishing intel on everyone from the No. 1 pick to an under-the-radar defensive lineman from Valdosta State (go Blazers!).
Kiper released his first Mock Draft of 2018 on Thursday. After forecasting the Cleveland Browns to select Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen No. 1 overall, the Viper crystal balled three Buckeyes into the first round and offered commentary on three under-the-radar Buckeyes.
|9||SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS||DENZEL WARD||CB|
|20||DETROIT LIONS||SAM HUBBARD||DE|
|24||CAROLINA PANTHERS||BILLY PRICE||C|
Kiper held court with reporters via conference call later in the afternoon.
Former defensive end Sam Hubbard is "a guy who will give you everything he has. He may not give you a spectacular performance."
Outside of his first-round picks, Kiper foresees former Buckeye linebacker Jerome Baker, his No. 18 linebacker, going in the third or fourth round.
"Look at the way he played this year; some people dropped him just a bit. If you combine everything he's done his career, he's [worthy of a third-round selection]."
Former defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes is an "interesting" prospect whose production didn't match his talent. "People are going to look at him as a second or third-round pick after he tests [at the combine]. He had a great end to the year."
Another late-round pick is former safety Damon Webb, whom Kiper also labeled an "interesting" pick on Day 3. "He makes a lot of plays."
The Buckeyes had seven former players selected in the 2017 draft, with three former players going in the first round.