Mel Kiper Jr. released his updated first-round mock draft this morning on ESPN, and he even includes some trades in this update. One of those trades, in his view, impacts Penn State star linebacker Micah Parsons.
Kiper has the Detroit Lions, who pick seventh, trading down to the No. 12 spot, where the San Francisco 49ers pick. He then has the Lions taking Parsons with that No. 12 pick.
This is what Kiper wrote about the pick:
“With the Lions moving down in my mock trade with the 49ers, that takes them out of the quarterback race but gives them extra draft capital. Jared Goff was always going to be on their roster in 2021 because of his salary, but he might not be the long-term solution. And I don’t expect Detroit to improve next season, which means it could have another valuable pick (plus it has the Rams’ first-round picks in 2022 and 2023). The Lions allowed 6.3 yards per play under former coach Matt Patricia last season, which ranked last in the league. They need help on defense. Parsons is a versatile linebacker with some pass-rush upside.”
What about Penn State defensive end Jayson Oweh?
Last month, Kiper said he was “really surprised” that Oweh entered the draft early after having no sacks this past season for PSU. Following is his comment at the time, from a story by All Penn State.
“I had Oweh ranked coming into the year as a guy who could be one of the top 10, top 5 best combo guys, edge rushers, coming out,” Kiper said on the podcast. “And as you watched him just not get it done as a sack guy and not be the guy that was really being dynamic on the field with those wow plays, you figured, ‘Boy, he’s going to go back, it’s almost automatic.’ But it didn’t happen that way.”
So, does Kiper have Oweh going in the first round?
Yes, he does — at No. 28 to the New Orleans Saints.
Here’s what Kiper wrote about Oweh in his mock draft:
“Yes, I’m projecting an edge rusher in Round 1 who had zero sacks last season. But turn on the tape. He pressured quarterbacks even if he didn’t close on them. And this is all about what I’m hearing Oweh is going to do at his pro day on March 25. There is a lot of buzz that he’s going to run a 4.4 40-yard dash at 255 pounds and wow coaches and scouts with his testing numbers. He is an extraordinary athlete with room to grow into a great player. Oweh made my preseason list of Big Ten prospects to monitor, and even though he didn’t put it all together, he has a high ceiling. The Saints, meanwhile, could lose Trey Hendrickson in free agency, creating a hole at defensive end.”
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