McShay's 2016 mock loaded with B1G players
If you aren’t an ESPN Insider, fear not.
NFL draft analyst Todd McShay came out with his latest mock on Wednesday, and as expected, it was loaded with B1G players. Four of the conference’s schools were represented, including six from the defending national champions.
McShay, who at one point had Christian Hackenberg as his No. 1 overall pick, has Bosa locked in at the top spot. Of the 11 B1G players McShay has in the first round, the injured Jack Conklin’s six-spot jump was the highest.
If you’re an ESPN Insider, you can see the draft in its entirety here.
To just see the B1G selections, read below:
1. Joey Bosa, Ohio State DE — Bosa entered 2015 having notched 34.5 tackles for loss and 21 sacks during his first two seasons in Columbus — and he hasn’t slowed down in Year 3 (2.5 TFLs in three games). He shows a consistent ability to convert speed to power and uses a wide array of pass-rush moves — swim, rip, club, spin. With experience playing DE on both sides and moving inside to DT on obvious pass downs, Bosa brings a lot of scheme versatility to the table.
9. Jack Conklin, Michigan State OT — Conklin is known for his ability to impact the run game, but coming into the season, we thought NFL-level edge rushers might give him a bit more trouble in pass protection. But the left tackle got the best of Oregon’s DeForest Buckner(No. 10 on this list) when the two matched up against each other on Sept. 12. While his stock is rising, he suffered a left knee injury against Central Michigan, which should be closely monitored.
11. Michael Thomas, Ohio State WR — Again the Buckeyes’ leading receiver, Thomas has 238 yards and 3 TDs through four games. He has shown he’s strong and tough enough to make difficult catches over the middle. He’s a long-strider with somewhat deceptive top-end speed to kill pursuit angles.
12. Maliek Collins, Nebraska DT — Collins’ production has dropped off a bit after finishing last season on a tear. He’s yet to register a tackle for loss and has disappeared for stretches early this season. Still, he’s an effective hand fighter, and has the skill set to prey on off-balance offensive linemen. And while Collins is not an overwhelming bull rusher, he generates enough push to make it tough for quarterbacks to step up.
14. Darron Lee, Ohio State LB — After leading the Buckeyes in TFLs last season, Lee has picked up right where he left off (3.5 TFLs in four games). The former high school quarterback is an undersized weakside linebacker prospect (6-foot-2, 235 pounds) with a good combination of athleticism, range, versatility and playmaking instincts. He fits today’s NFL extremely well.
16. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State RB — Elliott burst onto the national scene in 2014, averaging 6.9 yards per carry and compiling 18 rushing TDs. He hasn’t slowed down a bit this season (113.8 yards per game and 5 TDs). He’s a powerful runner who almost always churns out yards after initial contact and falls forward at end of runs.
20. Connor Cook, Michigan State QB — Coming into the season, we knew Cook was a proven winner (he’s now 27-3 as a starter). The concern was his accuracy, which, through four games, has stayed on par with seasons past (58.1 percent completion rate). That’s a bit of a red flag. Far too often Cook misses the strike zone and forces receivers to adjust to the ball.
21. Taylor Decker, Ohio State OT — Decker’s versatility in the run game, particularly on zone-stretch plays, has helped Ohio State average 231.5 yards on the ground this season, 25th in the FBS. Decker, who has experience at both tackle positions, must continue to improve his leverage and feet in order to maximize his draft stock.
25. Cardale Jones, Ohio State QB — The positive is that Jones didn’t lose his starting job. The negative is that he made enough mistakes (4 INTs in four games) to give Urban Meyer reason to think about making a change. I’m still looking for Jones to consistently show the first-round physical tools and mental toughness he flashed during his three career starts late last season.
26. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State QB — Hackenberg remains the most polarizing prospect in this class. He had his best game of the season last week against San Diego State (296 yards passing, 3 TDs, no turnovers), but it came after a three-game stretch during which he averaged 124 yards per game and totaled one score and two picks. His erratic accuracy remains an issue (52.8 completion rate), but he flashes enough good qualities on tape — not-quite-elite arm strength and the ability to thread the needle on intermediate throws — to make him an intriguing prospect.
30. Anthony Zettel, Penn State DL — At 6-foot-4, 284 pounds, Zettel has the size and strength to set the edge against the run, but he lacks the explosive burst to consistently penetrate the backfield. His five tackles for loss this season have come in two games, while he has been shut out in the other two. His versatility is impressive, as he has shown the ability to jump inside and be a disruptive interior pass-rusher.