ATHENS — NFL expert Peter King released his much-anticipated mock draft this week and has two Georgia football players going in the first round.
But it’s not the players some might expect.
King, who correctly forecasted 26 of last year’s 32 first-round picks, has Andrew Thomas as the second offensive tackle off the board going No. 6 overall.
“The Chargers have loved Thomas, a legit two-year left tackle at Georgia against the highest level of competition in the college game, throughout the fall and winter,” King writes, suggesting this Los Angeles franchise will pass on Tua Tagovailoa.
In what would be another NFL draft upset, of sorts, King has Isaiah Wilson — not D’Andre Swift — as the Bulldogs other first-round pick.
King has Wilson as the seventh offensive tackle off the board going No. 29 overall to the Tennessee Titans.
Mind you, King does not have any running backs projected in the first round.
King writes that Wilson could take a year to marinate before being ready to start for Tennessee.
“Andrew Thomas will be counted on as plug-and-play, and Wilson could take a year of grooming, particularly in a year with a weird offseason program like this one,” King said. “The natural inclination will be to expect Wilson to step in for the departed Jack Conklin, and he may. Wilson’s the kind of edgy, angry player who will fit well on the feisty Titans line.”
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said Monday most like Swift’s game, but he has also heard feedback that others like other backs better.
“You talk to some people and it’s pretty obvious that D’Andre Swift is the top back in this year’s draft, and then there’s other people that like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, some like Jonathan Taylor, some J.K. Dobbins.
“So at the end of the day, when these teams get on the clock and they’ve got to pick a running back, is Swift the guy?” he said. “I think he’s a three-down guy, which is what the NFL is looking for.”
The mock drafts are just that — projections — and no one could expect an NFL team to tip its hand to which player it likes best.
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