In the realm of predictions and projections, there’s no such thing as too early. And a new 2018 NFL Mock Draft projects a Big Ten star could be selected as high as No. 2 overall.
CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler put together a mock draft for 2018 that has Penn State running back Saquon Barkley going off the board at the second overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers.
Should that prediction come true, Barkley would be the highest Penn State player selected in an NFL draft since Courtney Brown was taken by the Browns with the first overall pick in 2000.
While some will dispute Barkley’s worthiness at that draft spot, Brugler doesn’t stop there. He compares Barkley to the likes of future NFL Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, also mentioning how 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who runs a pass-oriented offense, wouldn’t be able to pass up a player of Barkley’s abilities.
This is one of the first 2018 mock drafts that projects Barkley as a top-three selection. In other mock drafts, Barkley is projected to go just outside the top five.
Four other Big Ten players are selected in the first round of Brugler’s mock draft, and it’s almost the same makeup as the 2017 NFL Draft.
Of those four Big Ten players, three are Ohio State players — Sam Hubbard, Billy Price and Jerome Baker — and the other is a Michigan defensive lineman in Maurice Hurst Jr.
Big Ten players in Dane Brugler’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft
No. 2 – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
No. 16 – Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
No. 17 – Billy Price, OL, Ohio State
No. 21 – Maurice Hurst Jr., DL, Michigan
No. 27 – Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State