The Maryland football team is undergoing a major facelift with the addition of new coach D.J. Durkin.
However, some players from Randy Edsall‘s tenure are looking to take the next step in their football careers. It appears that cornerback/safety Sean Davis, defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson, and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue could all hear their names called at some point during this week’s NFL Draft.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com – Reuter has Davis going early in the third round to the San Francisco 49ers with the 68th overall pick. The selection certainly makes sense because the 49ers missed out on Josh Norman and new coach Chip Kelly loves his defensive backs to be versatile. Case and point was when he selected Utah’s Eric Rowe in the second round when he was still with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.
WalterFootball.com – Davis slides a lot further than many expect in this mock draft. Reports suggest that Davis is shooting up draft boards and definitely could be the first Terp selected this weekend. However, WalterFootball.com has Davis landing at No. 86 to the Minnesota Vikings, which would reunite him with former teammate Stefon Diggs. The Vikings have quite a bit of depth with guys like Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, and Trae Waynes already in the fold. Davis wouldn’t be forced to play a whole lot right away and could be a great fit under coach Mike Zimmer.
Chris Burke of SI.com – Burke has Davis as the first Terp being selected in his mock. He has the versatile defensive back going at No. 92 in the third round to the Arizona Cardinals. Outside of Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson, there is some instability in the Cardinals secondary. Davis could be groomed at either position, so this is definitely an ideal landing spot for him.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com – Reuter pegged Ngakoue to fall into the fourth round, which is entirely possible given his size. He has Ngakoue going to the Chicago Bears at No. 106. The Bears did line multiple linebackers in the offseason, but still don’t possess many pass rushers. Ngakoue could definitely come right in and compete for playing time, especially on third down.
WalterFootball.com – This is one of the more surprising mock drafts out there. The guys over at WalterFootball.com have Ngakoue being the first Terp off the board at No. 49 to the Buffalo Bills. They mention the departure of Mario Williams as one of the top reasons for targeting a pass rusher so early. Ngakoue rush the quarterback at either defensive end or linebacker in Buffalo’s system, so the landing spot could be appealing.
ProFootballFocus – This is the most perplexing mock that I’ve seen up to this point. The only Maryland player that they have being selected in the entire draft is Ngakoue. They’re pegging the former Terp to go at No. 132 in the fourth round to the Baltimore Ravens. This seems to be a popular landing spot and the Ravens have likely seen Ngakoue in live game action quite a bit. Ironically, he’d land on the same roster as Elvis Dumervil, who was also undersized coming out of college and has ended up having a fantastic NFL career.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com – This mock was done just before the Philadelphia Eagles traded up to No. 2 pick. Regardless, it wouldn’t have a whole lot of bearing on where any of the Maryland players end up. Schrager has Ngakoue going late in the second round at No. 61 to the New England Patriots. There couldn’t be a better situation for Ngakoue to end up in. Obviously, he has plenty of experience playing in a 3-4 defense under Brian Stewart during his first two years in college.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com – Jefferson is certainly less likely to be drafted than Davis or Ngakoue. However, he does appear on many mock drafts on the third day. Reuter has the former Maryland star going at No. 189 to the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round. The Cowboys did add Cedric Thornton in free agency and this pick could change if they select Joey Bosa fourth overall, but a gamble on a guy like Jefferson at this stage in the draft could end up being a steal.