The NFL draft won't start until April 26, but for reporters who cover football, it's never too early for a mock draft. Currently, Maryland has two prospects whose draft stocks are rising. The Big Ten's top wide receiver (DJ Moore) and the Terps' top corner (JC Jackson) have both declared for the draft, and their names appear throughout several mocks.
While not many analysts have mock drafts that go deep enough for both Moore and Jackson, here are a few listed below:
|Player||Matt Miller, Bleacher Report||Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com||DJ Boyer, Draftsite.com|
|JC Jackson||Round 4, pick 110 (Green Bay Packers)||Round 3, pick 67 (Indianapolis Colts)||Round 6, pick 184 (Carolina Panthers)|
|DJ Moore||Round 2, pick 45 (Green Bay Packers)||Round 4, pick 101 (Chicago Bears)||Round 3, pick 92 (Pittsburgh Steelers)|
Moore led the conference in receptions and yards last season, despite a revolving door at quarterback. Imagine if he had a consistent arm to develop chemistry with over the course of an entire season.
Moore's positional rankings are all over the place as of today: ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. had him as his second-highest receiver, while Cherepinsky has him at 25th. Moore has good-but-not-track-star speed, and great ball skills with average size.
I like his fit in Chicago best: With the Bears rebuilding — and Kendall Wright, the team's leading receiver, a free agent — the chance for Moore to get playing time is wide open. Moore could flourish with Mitchell Trubisky's growth under center.
Jackson is not as flashy of a prospect — in fact, he's not even the best cornerback with the last name Jackson in this class (kudos to Josh Jackson from Iowa, who will likely be a first-round pick). However, Jackson has good speed and size to complement his exceptional ball skills.
What's holding Jackson back right now: his off-the-field issues from the past that ultimately led to his exit from Florida. When he's on the field, though, he's bound to produce — last season for the Terps, he picked off three passes and broke up seven more.
I personally like his fit best with Green Bay. The Packers' corners are nothing to brag about, and Jackson would get great support from Pro Bowl safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.