By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
ESPN’s NFL Draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr., said this week that former Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor could land in the late first round of the draft.
Kiper posted his latest mock draft (Insider required) this week and has Taylor going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 43, the top half of the second round.
But he has four cornerbacks in the first round — Dee Milliner of Alabama (No. 5, Lions), Desmond Trufant of Washington (No. 19, Giants), Xavier Rhodes of Florida State (No. 24, Colts) and D.J. Hayden of Houston (No. 28, Broncos).
During the media conference call, Taylor’s name came up several times as he discussed team scenarios. He mentioned Taylor in connection with the Falcons at No. 30, the Lions at No. 36 and the Giants at No. 49.
Taylor has risen quickly through the draft preparation process. I asked Kiper about Taylor’s draft stock. Here’s what he said:
“Senior Bowl week really helped Jamar Taylor a lot. … The things you look for in this league now, he has. He’ll support the run. I think Jamar Taylor’s a borderline first-round pick. I project him possibly late first, at worst early-to-mid second. A lot of teams are going to look at corner late first, early-to-mid second, so there’s going to be a run on these guys. He’s going to be very heavily in that equation.”
Kiper said he doesn’t have a draftable grade on any other Boise State prospects. The only other guy invited to the NFL Scouting Combine was tailback D.J. Harper.
“Maybe a late-rounder, but I’m projecting him more as a priority free agent,” Kiper said.
Here are Boise State’s first-round picks, all since Chris Petersen became head coach in 2006:
12. OT Ryan Clady (2008, Broncos)
19. DE Shea McClellin (2012, Bears)
29. CB Kyle Wilson (2010, Jets)
31. RB Doug Martin (2012, Bucs)
The Bucs traded into the late first round to grab Martin. Taylor, as a borderline first-rounder, could be targeted in a similar fashion this year.
The first round is April 25.
PRACTICE NO. 10
Type: Full pads
Player spotlight: Redshirt sophomore tailback Jay Ajayi is the most experienced runner the Broncos have but is still learning himself, which puts him in a difficult situation. Running backs coach Keith Bhonapha said Ajayi has played well this spring and is learning how to handle a leadership role.
Play of the day: Junior quarterback Grant Hedrick broke a 50-yard touchdown run around the left end in a scrimmage period between the second-team offense and defense.
Notes: The first-team offense drove for a field goal during a game-like drive. The field goal was set up by a nice throw from Joe Southwick to tight end Holden Huff, who might have scored a touchdown if it was a full scrimmage period. Instead, the defense just had to tag him. … Aaron Burks caught a touchdown pass that deflected off the hands of linebacker Andrew Pint.
Next practice: Monday
I’ll be back on football full time next week (after Davis Cup) and hit the last two position previews — running backs and quarterbacks. The Spring Game is a week from Saturday.