NFL analyst tabs All-B1G player as surprise top-10 pick
With all of the mock drafts that come out this time of year, there are bound to be some wide ranges for players.
This expert says he’s a first-round pick, but this expert says he’s a third-rounder at best. Ultimately, it’s one person’s opinion. Sometimes, those opinions don’t agree with the majority.
Who NFL Network analyst Ike Taylor put at No. 8 in his first mock draft definitely didn’t agree with the majority. He had the Philadelphia Eagles, like many expect, taking a running back. But that running back wasn’t Ezekiel Elliott.
It was Indiana’s Jordan Howard.
To be fair, he had Elliott going off the board at No. 4 to the Dallas Cowboys. But Taylor had Howard, projected as a possible Day 2 or early-Day 3 pick by many, going ahead of some notable draft prospects.
He put Howard one pick ahead of Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey, who some suspect will go No. 2 to the Cleveland Browns if they don’t take a quarterback. Taylor also had Howard three spots ahead of Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, who he actually dropped out of his top 10. For perspective, Taylor’s slot of Howard was two picks higher than where Todd Gurley went last year.
Here’s the rest of Taylor’s unconventional top 16 picks:
|PICK, TEAM||POSITION, PLAYER||SCHOOL|
|1. Tennessee Titans||OT Laremy Tunsil||Mississippi|
|2. Cleveland Browns||QB Jared Goff||California|
|3. San Diego Chargers||DE Deforest Buckner||Oregon|
|4. Dallas Cowboys||RB Ezekiel Elliott||Ohio State|
|5. Jacksonville Jaguars||LB Myles Jack||UCLA|
|6. Baltimore Ravens||CB Vernon Hargreaves||Florida|
|7. San Francisco 49ers||WR Laquon Treadwell||Mississippi|
|8. Philadelphia Eagles||RB Jordan Howard||Indiana|
|9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||CB Jalen Ramsey||Florida State|
|10. New York Giants||WR Will Fuller||Notre Dame|
|11. Chicago Bears||DE Joey Bosa||Ohio State|
|12. New Orleans Saints||NT Andrew Billings||Baylor|
|13. Miami Dolphins||CB Eli Apple||Ohio State|
|14. Oakland Raiders||OT Ronnie Stanley||Notre Dame|
|15. Los Angeles Rams||C Ryan Kelly||Alabama|
|16. Detroit Lions||CB Mackensie Alexander||Clemson|
In regards to Howard, Taylor wrote that he’s ready to be a No. 2 now and that he could develop into a No. 1 with Ryan Mathews.
That isn’t necessarily that much of a surprise. NFL.com graded him as a 6.1, which is the fourth-highest grade among all B1G prospects. Howard did run for a UAB-record 1,587 yards before his one year of dominance at Indiana, where he earned all-conference honors despite being banged up for a significant chunk of B1G play.
But there are questions about his durability with the amount of contact he takes when he runs. Even though the 230-pound back has the size to be successful at the next level, his shelf life — and the shelf life of running backs in general — are why publications like CBS Sports have him as a second- or third-round pick.
So where will Howard go? That remains to be seen. If he has it his way, front offices will see what Taylor sees in him.