Three Tigers on Kiper's 2019 NFL mock draft
|Thursday, January 17, 2019, 9:42 AM- -|
ESPN's draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his 2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 Thursday and had three talented Clemson defensive linemen listed in the first round.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell was projected to the Green Bay Packers at pick No. 12 overall.
"Ferrell, who had 21 sacks the past two seasons, isn't a perfect fit in the Packers' 3-4 defense, but he's the best pass-rusher left on the board," Kiper said. "Green Bay needs to add edge-rush help this offseason -- Clay Matthews and Muhammad Wilkerson are free agents -- and Ferrell (6-5, 265) could play end or outside linebacker here. The Packers will likely keep an eye on offensive playmakers, too, and they have New Orleans' first-round pick from last year's draft-day trade."
Ferrell had 54 tackles including 19.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries, and three forced fumbles in 2018.
Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was predicted No. 26 overall to the Indianapolis Colts.
"Lawrence is higher on my Big Board -- No. 17 --, but he won't fit every NFL team," he said. "At 6-foot-5, 340 pounds, he's the top nose tackle in this class, so he needs to find a team looking for a plugger in the middle. With Margus Hunt -- who had a stellar 2018 -- a free agent, the Colts could have a need along the interior of the line. Lawrence can disrupt a pocket and hold up against the run, but he's never going to be an elite penetrator like Quinnen Williams."
Lawrence had 37 tackles including 7.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks this past season.
Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was projected to the Los Angeles Chargers at pick No. 28.
"Did you see the Patriots punish the Chargers up front in the AFC divisional round? They were pushed around," Kiper said. "The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Wilkins would be an improvement. He could plug the nose for L.A. and also bump outside to end. He was a four-year starter for the Tigers and always showed up on tape; he had 15 tackles for loss in 2018. Derwin James was one of the stars of the Class of 2018, and the Chargers have a solid roster. Let's get them past the divisional round."
Wilkins registered 50 tackles including 15 tackles for loss, six sacks, and two fumble recoveries in 2018.