ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay believes Missouri could have three players selected in the first four rounds of the 2016 draft, which is set for April 28-30 in Chicago.
He seems especially high on the Tigers’ two draft-worthy offensive linemen — center Evan Boehm from Lee’s Summit West and left tackle Connor McGovern, who projects as a guard in the NFL.
“Both those guys project as future starters, maybe not right away, but they’re both capable of developing into starters,” McShay said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. “Boehm’s versatility, I like. McGovern has a little more upside in terms of athletic ability. I’ll be surprised if they’re not both off the board in the first four rounds.”
Some mock drafts have linebacker Kentrell Brothers, who led the Football Bowl Subdivision with 152 tackles last season and racked up a nation-leading 274 as a junior and senior, going as high as the second round.
McShay isn’t as optimistic, but he still sees Brothers being picked by the fourth round, too.
The first round of the NFL Draft is set for Thursday with rounds two and three on Friday and rounds four through seven on Saturday.
“To me, Brothers is more of an early day-three pick, but some teams may view him a little higher,” McShay said. “He had three kicks blocked, so special teams is where he’s going to contribute early and be a backup, who has to kind of work his way into a starting role if he can one day.”
McShay raved about Brothers’ instincts — “always around the football, 358 career tackles; he has a nose for it” — and also lauded his ability to penetrate, tackle and his motor.
“The problem that I have is, as productive as he was, there’s concern about the athleticism and the translatable traits,” McShay said. “When you look at a guy who’s 6-foot, 245 (pounds), ran a 4.89 (40-yard dash) at the Combine — the change of direction is concerning and the athleticism. I think he has adequate range in zone (coverage), but I think you can create one-on-one mismatches versus him even in zone situation where he has to cover an area.”
Boehm also lacked ideal athleticism in testing, McShay said, but the versatility to play center or guard, size and toughness make him valuable for NFL teams — even in a very deep, talented class for interior offensive linemen.
“Ryan Kelly is a notch above everybody else at the center position,” McShay said. “I think Joshua Garnett is underrated from Stanford. I like (K-State’s) Cody Whitehair, but I think he fits only in a zone-blocking scheme. I like his versatility and think he actually could be a center, but then you get into that next tier and that’s where I think you see Max Tuerk from USC. I don’t think there’s a big difference between him and Boehm and Graham Glasgow from Michigan.”