As the page turns from the Super Bowl to NFL Draft season, Kentucky is right in the middle of it all.
Near the top of every mock draft you’ll find Josh Allen. Kentucky’s record-breaking pass-rusher and National Defensive Player of the Year falls between the first and fifth pick, depending on who you ask. This morning ESPN’s Todd McShay placed Allen second to the 49ers in his second mock draft. That could change after Allen’s combine performance.
Allen does not have a lot of wiggle room, but he has a teammate who could rise into the first round. Lonnie Johnson told KSR he received plenty of first round feedback following an excellent Senior Bowl performance. Vince Marrow is hearing much of the same from NFL personnel.
“I think we’re going to have two first rounders this year, I really do,” UK’s NFL liaison said yesterday afternoon. “I think Lonnie Johnson put himself into the first round.”
Mock drafters are beginning to take notice. Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports is the first to insert the UK cornerback into the first round of his mock draft.
Johnson looks like a Seahawks cornerback. He’s tall, fast and physical, but he’s also still very raw. That said, he had a strong Senior Bowl week and some scouts think he could end up being a first-round pick.
It will be difficult for other Wildcats to climb as high as Lonnie. They’ll get their opportunity to move up draft boards in March at the NFL Combine and UK Pro Day.
If Johnson replicates his practice performances in front of NFL scouts, prepare to hear his name called Thursday night in Nashville.