Today: Chat live with Greg Auman
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had a teleconference with the national media on Wednesday, and he addressed his projections for several USF players expected to be drafted in April:
On safety Nate Allen, who is turning up as a late first-rounder in some mock drafts:
"I'd say he's a second-round pick. I've liked him all year. He shows the speed, in my opinion, to cover a tremendous amount of ground. Good anticipation, very good awareness. As a cover safety, I think he's excellent. Not an intimidator. I saw him miss an open-field tackle. Overall, though, fairly solid in that area. He's around the action a lot this yea. I think if he runs well and tests out well, I think he's an early to mid-2."
"Nothing would shock me in terms of late first round. You've seen it in past years. 27 to 32 area, you could see a safety come off the board, especially knowing Green Bay at 23, Philadelphia at 24 are looking at the safety position. They could look at a Taylor Mays, an Earl Thomas from Texas, a Nate Allen from South Florida would be a guy there if he does well over the next two months. I think early to mid second round right now."
On other USF draft prospects:
"Jason Pierre-Paul from South Florida, top 10 to 12. Right now, I have Pierre-Paul going 8 to Oakland. George Selvie, the defensive end, I would say maybe fourth or fifth round, and for Jerome Murphy, the cornerback from South Florida, I'd say third or fourth round."
Kiper did not mention receiver Carlton Mitchell or linebacker Kion Wilson, but he's also running through tons of names in a two-hour conference call, so easy to overlook a name without meaning to ...