ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released a new one-round mock draft today that does not include Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey.
Kiper said the Minnesota Vikings -- who currently hold pick No. 30 — may “keep an eye on” McGlinchey, but the draft analyst ultimately chose Louisville Cardinals’ offensive tackle Geron Christian for the NFC’s runners up.
Kiper’s first mock draft — released Jan. 11 — had the Miami Dolphins selecting McGlinchey No. 11 overall. In the newest version, the Dolphins “pounce” on UCLA Bruins’ quarterback Josh Rosen.
The senior draft analyst ranked McGlinchey as the 24th best player in the 2018 NFL Draft on Sunday, which was eight spots lower than his previous big board. Kiper also considers him the third best offensive tackle behind the UCLA Bruins’ Kolton Miller and Oklahoma Sooners’ Orlando Brown.
McGlinchey is a massive athlete (6-foot-8, 315 pounds) who looks like a tight end with pads on. He was dominant from the left side in the rout of USC in October. He plays with solid technique, and he can get to the second level for combo blocks, all while driving defenders off the ball in the running game. He played right tackle in 2015, then replaced first-round pick Ronnie Stanley on the left side in 2016, and he has stayed at left tackle in 2017. The versatility will help McGlinchey in the NFL.
Kiper believes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take Quenton Nelson, McGlinchey’s partner on the left side of the Irish offensive line, as the seventh overall pick. That is unchanged from his previous mock draft.
How rare is it to publish a mock draft without McGlinchey in the first round? Of the 61 we’re tracking, only four (6.5 percent) don’t include the former Irish captain — NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, The Athletic’s Chris Burke, Louisville Courier Journal’s Gentry Estes and Bleacher Report’s Ryan McCrystal. Kiper becomes the fifth.
The NFL Combine — which will feature McGlinchey, Nelson and teammates Josh Adams, Equanimeous St. Brown and Durham Smythe — begins Feb. 27 and runs through March 5. Notre Dame will hold its Pro Day on March 22.
Kiper attaches a caveat to his latest projection, stating: “Upcoming combine testing, medicals, pro days and individual workouts are extremely important to the process, and draft boards will change a lot based on those.”