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NFL Draft

Let the NFL Draft debates commence!

Florida Football Insiders



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the reality that after Conference Championship weekend is over, there will be only one meaningful football game left this season, the Super Bowl, of course most fans will start to focus on the NFL Draft.

And on Thursday, the premiere draft analyst of the last 25 years, at least on ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr., put his initial first round mock for the 2018 Draft.

With the understanding that Kiper by his own admission will change this and maybe even significantly, as we go along over the next 90 days, it’s still interesting to see who he thinks is going where. This is especially for the top few teams and for our purposes the Florida Teams.

Here’s his first assessment:

A Couple of immediate things jump out, Wyoming early entry QB Josh Allen must have mixed emotions, as Kiper has him going #1 overall. It’s the ultimate honor for any draft pick. Then again, he has to want to vomit to see his name next to the team- Cleveland, even if it’s a mock draft.

Next, Kiper believes that UCLA QB Josh Rosen is the next best option at signal caller and will go to the Giants #2.

You can obviously read, who else he has going where off the tweet and screen grab from ESPN this afternoon.

Interesting for us at F.F.I. that while the Buccaneers have needs at RB, and DE, Kiper actually has them taking an OG, in Quenton Nelson of Notre Dame. It’s not sexy, but the Buccaneers guard play and offensive line play overall, was poor at best last season. This would be a good need filled, too.

Equally intriguing, he has the Dolphins, who also have a need at RB and might one to draft one of the QBs, taking an O-lineman, well. Kiper took another Notre Dame player, Tackle Mike McGlinchey at #11 for the Fins. Again, same as the Bucs, they need line help in South Florida.

Anything beyond that point (around pick 10 or so) is really crap shoot, as it only takes one or two wild picks to disrupt everything. And, just like in 2017, multiple teams will trade up to grab their guy, too, and mess up the draft order, etc.

Finally, another intriguing name from Kiper’s first round? Baker Mayfield, Heisman winning QB at Oklahoma. He has him going to Jay Gruden and the Redskins at 13.

He’s a name that will be heard a bunch in the coming weeks with the combine and individual workouts and of course, with Miami’s quarterback situation still fluid, the Dolphins will get mentioned.

Mayfield wasted no time on Thursday afternoon, as Dolphins WR Kenny Stills (a former Sooner himself) was live on Instagram watching draft conversation on TV. Mayfield decided to “reach out:”

We don’t know how quickly “#GetMeToMiami” will take off on social media, but it was an intriguing and very honest moment from Mayfield.

Again, so much is going to be said, written, theorized and “mocked” for the next couple of months. You just have to pace yourselves.

Still it’s fun for the first time to peek, ponder and debate.

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