The NFL Draft begins tomorrow night in Philadelphia, ironic after what took place last year with Carson Wentz being selected as the number two overall pick. Wentz is scheduled to join ESPN’s Mike and Mike at 8:30 Friday morning. Today, I’m reviving a blog post that I did from a couple years ago and ranking the top players NDSU played this past season that will be drafted this year. I believe this time next year, we’ll have a different conversation with SDSU’s standouts Jake Wieneke and Dallas Goedert who will get drafted.
- Desmond King, CB – Iowa: The Jim Thorpe winner in 2015, his senior season wasn’t nearly as good with just three interceptions. King had six tackles in the Hawkeye loss to NDSU and the Bison never let him return a punt. You could see his athleticism though and how he can be a player at the next level.
- Cooper Kupp, WR – Eastern Washington: Many know that read this blog I’ve been on the Kupp bandwagon for about three years. Before this past season started I said Kupp would be a first round pick. I think I’m going to be wrong on that, but he shouldn’t have to wait long on Friday. Kupp only played a half against the Bison, but still racked up 62 yards and two touchdowns on just five catches. Kupp is represented by the same agency that reps Wentz, that would be an interesting pairing in Philly.
- Derek Rivers, DE – Youngstown State: Rivers has had an amazing postseason run, where he has thrilled scouts with his work at the combine and pro day. Rivers had just two tackles and a sack when NDSU handled the Penguins in Fargo, but he played better and better as the season went along. He’s got great speed and will be picked sometime on Day 2.
- Karter Schult, DE – Northern Iowa: The Buck Buchanan winner from 2016 isn’t getting as much buzz as I thought he would, but this guy was a dominant force on the field. Schult had 7 tackles and a sack in the Panthers loss to the Bison, but this guy disrupts things up front. Projections say he won’t be drafted and likely will be an undrafted free agent, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone takes a flier on him in the sixth or seventh round.
- Jaleel Johnson, DT – Iowa: Johnson is getting plenty of buzz, he was a first-team all Big Ten player. Johnson had four tackles and a sack in the NDSU game, credit the Bison offensive line that you didn’t hear more about him during the game, remember Landon Lechler was named Valley Offensive Lineman of the week for his performance in that game. Johnson likely is a second or third round draft pick.
Will be interesting to watch when the FCS guys come off the board. If I’m a betting man, Kupp is the first FCS draft pick.