Even though the 2013 NFL Draft is still a few weeks away, it’s never too early for some 2014 mock drafts to start surfacing.
Almost every one I’ve seen has included one Husky —- tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That should come as no surprise given his physical gifts and accomplishments so far (and obviously the assumption is his recent legal issues will serve as nothing more than a long-term bump in the road).
A mock draft by DraftSite.com, however, included another Husky in the first round, a name that might catch some UW fans off-guard — defensive end Josh Shirley. Here’s that mock draft (this is also included in print form in USA Today’s 2013 NFL Draft guide), showing Shirley going with the 27th pick. Here’s their page on Shirley with a scouting report, listing him at 230 pounds. Shirley told us a couple of weeks ago he is now up to 237, and if he can stay and play well at that weight, his draft stock will only get better.
A first-round projection, though, might seem pretty heady for a player who became something of a situational player as 2012 evolved — after starting the first three games of the season, he started just three more, used increasingly in pass-rush situations primarily.
Defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi lauded Shirley’s play in the early stages of spring practice, saying he was becoming more consistent than a year ago, and the hope will be that he can become an every-down player at the rush end spot.
And as others have noted, while a first-round projection for Shirley at this stage might seem a little heady, his overall pedigree is not much different from that of Bruce Irvin, who was the first round pick of the Seahawks in 2012.
Also interesting to note in the DraftSite mock are local players Scott Crichton of Oregon State and Deandre Coleman of Cal each projected in the second round.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Athlon’s offers up an analysis of the schedules of every Pac-12 team.
— Mason Kelley of HuskyNation has a feature on Marcus Peters
— Former UW defensive coordinator Kent Baer could become just the second assistant in Colorado history to get a multi-year contract.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller says Stanford has to avoid complacency in 2013.
— Some updates on Oregon’s spring practice from The Oregonian.
— Some links around the Pac-12 from Christian Caple.
— Here’s a spring preview of Illinois.
— The ESPN Pac-12 bloggers also ponder Arizona’s chances of winning the South in 2013.