By Parrish Alford
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper is confident that Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief won’t slip past the second round after the NFL draft gets under way today.
If Kiper is correct, Moncrief will get the call from an NFL club on Friday, the second day of what has become a three-day event.
“He’s a second-round pick, and there are a host of teams that need wide receivers. Somewhere in that second round he comes off the board,” Kiper said.
Nine of the top 10 receivers in the draft are underclassmen like Moncrief, Kiper said.
Ole Miss had no players drafted last year, and hasn’t had a player drafted inside the top five rounds since 2010.
That Ole Miss group, on the heels of the 2009 season and the second of back-to-back Cotton Bowls, produced Dexter McCluster in the second round to Kansas City, John Jerry in the third to Miami, Kendrick Lewis in the fifth to Kansas City and Greg Hardy in the sixth to Carolina.
“It looks like we’ll at least have one this year. We’ve got to get that changed. We’re on our way to doing that,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said.
If the Rebels have a player drafted after Moncrief, it could very well be defensive back Charles Sawyer.
NFLDraftScout.com ranks Sawyer No. 41 out of 220 cornerbacks and notes that he could also play free safety. It projects him as a possible sixth- to seventh-round pick, which means if Sawyer gets a draft call it will be on Day 3.
The group ranks Barry Brunetti No. 76 of 103 QBs The web site says he can also play fullback, linebacker or H-back, but with his top 40 time at 4.7 it doesn’t project him even as a free agent.
A handful of Ole Miss players are projected as free agents including Mike Marry, who NFLDraftScout.com ranks No. 31 out of 111 inside linebackers.
Offensive tackle Pierce Burton, running back Jeff Scott and wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan are also projected as free agents. The website does not rank any of them in the top 50 at their positions, though Burton is close, at No. 53 out of 94 offensive tackles.