Mel Kiper Jr 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Overrated Players in Analyst's 2-Round Mock
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. just released his latest NFL mock draft that covers the first two rounds. Many of the picks are similar to those you would find from most analysts, but there were still a few head-scratching placements.
Let's take a look at three players being rated too highly by Kiper and make a better estimate of their true value unless something drastically changes over the next three weeks.
Kiper predicts the Dallas Cowboys will select the Alabama safety with the 15th pick. Even though he has established himself as the best safety in the class, that's too high for him. Dallas would be reaching big-time to make that selection.
Barron still hasn't returned to 100 percent after various injuries slowed him down during his final year with the Tide. He played through the pain, but you have to wonder if these nagging ailments are going to follow him to the NFL, leading to a bunch of questionable tags.
The Cowboys do need to make some secondary upgrades, but they would be better off going with a corner like Dre Kirkpatrick. Barron shouldn't be selected until late in the first round.
Which player was overrated most by Kiper?
While the San Diego Chargers have been searching for a reliable outside linebacker for quite some time, taking a chance on Jones at No. 18 simply poses too many risks. His bust potential would go through the roof because he'd have sky-high expectations.
The biggest concern about his ability to become an effective pass-rusher is speed. He has the strength to power through guys, but beating offensive linemen with quickness won't be his strong suit. Teams will understand that weakness and exploit it.
Assuming San Diego wants a pass-rusher, Whitney Mercilus provides far more value at that point in the opening round. As for Jones, the middle of Round 2 makes more sense.
McClellin has been rising up draft boards thanks to strong showings throughout the draft process, but sneaking into the first round still seems like a stretch. The New England Patriots have enough defensive needs to fill that they shouldn't need to reach.
The Boise State star is another linebacker without elite speed, which will limit the amount of damage he'll be able to do at the next level. Also, playing against weaker competition with Boise means there will likely be an extended transition period.
If Janoris Jenkins remains on the board when the Patriots' first pick comes up at No. 27, New England would be crazy to pass on him. His off-field issues are widely discussed, but Bill Belichick isn't afraid to take a chance. McClellin belongs in mid-to-late second round.
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