LSU 2016 NFL Draft Preview; who we think will hear their names called in Chicago.
The first round of the 2016 NFL Draft is in the books, however, a rare case has emerged this year. No player from Alabama or LSU has been drafted in the first round. For the Tigers, that’s great news because many players chose to stay in school for their senior years, meaning they will have a veteran squad in 2017. We thought we’d breakdown and preview some of the possible prospects that would hear their name called in Chicago.
OG Vadal Alexander: The 6-foot-5, 326 pound offensive tackle only allowed two sacks in his senior season. His combine numbers consist of a 5.57 forty yard dash, 4.90 shuttle, and a 24” vertical. Not bad for a big man! Alexander lost 30 pounds since his freshman year and has been considerably quicker around the line of scrimmage. Vadal was a four year starter for the Tigers.
OT Jerald Hawkins: Jerald was the only player to declare early for the Tigers this season. The 6-foot-6, 305 pound offensive tackle is looking to hear his name called on Friday night. Hawkins, who received a 5.5 draft grade, is looking to build off of LSU’s success with offensive linemen in the NFL, just ask La’el Collins. According to an NFL offensive line coach, “You have to watch him in a few games because he’s not asked to do as much in some games as others. In one game you think he looks really strong and then in another game he’s kind of all over the place. Some of that is his feet. If he improves his feet he should improve his play strength.”
OLB Deion Jones: “Debo” Jones, the New Orleans native is probably the highest projected player for LSU. In his senior season, Deion got 99 tackles, 5 sacks, and two interceptions. He is a strong, powerful, and quick player at the linebacker position who can very much so make an impact at the professional level.
FS Jalen Mills: Sidelined for almost half the 2016 season, Mills recovered from a fractured fibula he suffered in summer practice in August. Highlighting his “Pro Day,” Mills notched a 4.48 in the 40 yard dash. “I think he’ll be a long time player in the league because he has pretty good feel in coverage, but I also don’t think he’s a safety. He’s a slot corner,” said an AFC scout. Mills sometimes takes poor angles to the ball, which would definitely be one of his weaknesses.
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UPDATE: Congrats to Vadal Alexander, Jerald Hawkins, Deion Jones, Jalen (Money) Mills, and Rashard Robinson on being drafted! #ForeverLSU