Mel Kiper doesn’t have any love for the non-AQs in the first round of this year’s NFL draft.
There are no non-AQs players listed on Kiper’s first mock draft, which was released on ESPN.com on Thursday. Not even TCU defensive end (who could be considered an outside linebacker in the pros) Jerry Hughes, who was considered a late first-round pick on his NFL evaluation after his junior year, was able to crack the top 32. Hughes didn’t make Todd McShay’s first round either.
Kiper does list his top five players per position, which is a little kinder to players from teams outside the Big Six.
Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati is the best guard available in the draft and TCU linebacker Daryl Washington is the second-best inside linebacker behind Alabama’s Rolando McClain and before Florida’s Brandon Spikes.
It is important to note that these rankings are before the senior bowls and the NFL combine, and those two events have been known to alter the first three rounds quite a bit.