It’s never too early for a mock draft!
Things are settling down in relation to the 2019 NFL Draft. Drew Lock and Terry Beckner join the prestigious list of drafted Mizzou alums, and a host of other former Tigers are fighting the uphill battle of making rosters as undrafted free agents.
However, a number of outlets are already looking toward next year as another possibly big year for Barry Odom’s program. In a 2020 NFL Mock Draft at Sports Illustrated, writer Eric Single sees not one but two Tigers going in the first round. Here’s a snippet from the obvious choice, Albert Okwuegbunam, whom single has going at No. 20
Even if Jason Witten’s un-retirement lasts more than one season, the Cowboys would benefit greatly from an imposing target like “Albert O” to draw defenses’ eyes toward the middle and away from Amari Cooper. A broken scapula ended his 2018 campaign nine games in, but he already had 43 catches for 466 yards and six touchdowns by that point, after he got the nation’s attention with 11 TDs as a redshirt freshman in 2017.
Over at the Kansas City Star, Alex Schiffer listed a number of Mizzou players who could hear their name called next year (curiously enough, though, he didn't list the second choice from SI’s mock draft). There are a lot of seniors on this list, but one rising junior stands out.
With Damarea Crockett leaving a year early, [running back Larry] Rountree will be the Tigers’ top tailback in front of Tyler Badie and Simi Bakare. Crockett signed an undrafted free-agent deal with the Houston Texans on Saturday. With running backs having a short lifespan in the NFL, a strong season from Rountree could see him capitalize while he’s healthy and his stock is high.
An offense that’s losing Okwuegbunam and Rountree likely had a strong year, so there’s nothing wrong with hoping both of them have the option to leave Columbia next spring. Among the other names that come up in these sorts of discussions: Jordan Elliot, Yasir Durant, DeMarkus Acy, Kelly Bryant, Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms, amongst other seniors.
If I had to rank how high I think each of these players would be drafted next year (assuming Rountree has a good year and leaves), it would probably look something like this: Albert O.; Elliot; Wallace-Simms; Acy; Durant, Rountree. I think Bryant has an uphill battle amongst next year’s crop of talented QBs, but I’m certainly not doubting his drive or ability to make it happen.
How about y’all; who do you think has a shot at going early next spring?
- Pitcher TJ Sikkema is the SEC’s pitcher of the week and, even more impressively, has passed Max Scherzer on the program’s all-time strikeout leaderboard.
- Mizzou’s weekend sweep over South Carolina vaults them back into the polls and firmly in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament spot.