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One Week Until Kentucky Invades Nashville for the NFL Draft

Tony Gonzales | WPLN

Tony Gonzales | WPLN

It’s finally here. Almost five months after the conclusion of the Kentucky football season, more than a dozen former players will soon learn which NFL team will call their name.

Since the Wildcats’ Citrus Bowl win, players have traveled across the country for workouts, postseason bowl games, interviews, combines, meetings and more. Josh Allen has drawn most of the spotlight near the top of every analysts’ draft board. Next Thursday Allen, along with Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow, will be in Nashville for the first round of the NFL Draft. Tootsies is already prepared to see him.

@JeremyBurson

They’ve already cut the draft night promos too.

We know Allen will be a top five pick, but it’s difficult to gauge where the rest may fall. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler compiled an enormous 222-page NFL Draft guide that grades every single prospect imaginable. This is not just your run of the mill mock draft. He’s done his homework with background information on each prospect.

Player

Position Rank

Draft Projection

Josh Allen

2

#3 Overall

Mike Edwards

9

3-4

Lonnie Johnson

14

4

Benny Snell

18

5-6

Chris Westry

32

6-7

Derrick Baity

35

7

Darius West

23

7

C.J. Conrad

20

FA

George Asafo-Adjei

34

FA

Bunchy Stallings

27

FA

Jordan Jones

37

FA

Adrian Middleton

51

FA

Tymere DuBose

79

FA

Conrad’s absence is attributed to his lack of athleticism. The same applies to Bunchy Stallings, who tested poorly at his pro day. Benny Snell receives similar remarks and an, “it’s a shame it’s not 1995.”

Athleticism is not a problem for Lonnie Johnson. It’s why teams were drooling over him at the Senior Bowl. Brugler believes it could make him a top 50 pick, however, he just doesn’t like his film. From mental mistakes to lack of ball skills, Brugler slates him so low because Johnson has so much room to grow. We’ll see if that analysis holds up or if athleticism carries Johnson to the top of the draft.

First Round Love for Lonnie

While Brugler isn’t bullish on Johnson, others are. We’ve heard for quite some time that Lonnie Johnson could jump into the first round. The buzz has been building and it’s finally here, just a week before the NFL Draft. The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, host of Move The Sticks, has Johnson going 20th overall to join Bud Dupree with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This is higher than I have Johnson rated, but he’s catching a lot of buzz right now and the Steelers have a need at the position.

If that comes true, it wouldn’t be Lonnie’s first time in a Steelers uniform.

@PerrettM

Two Josh Allens on one Team?

Could Kentucky’s Josh Allen play with the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen? That question was asked by Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe.

The former WHAS-11 sports anchor came to Lexington to spend a day with Allen. More videos from their time will be released at a later date. As for now, enjoy Allen’s 40-minute appearance on The Lefkoe Show. You’ll learn a few things you probably did not know about Allen, except his middle name. NOBODY knows his middle name. Surely it can’t be as weird as mine, Loring.

More Praise for Allen

He’s been described as the best pass rusher in the draft by many. Add Yahoo’s Terez Paylor to that list.

The 6-5, 262-pounder has been terrific for three-plus seasons for the Wildcats, using his size, athleticism and juice off the snap to rack up 31 sacks since 2016, including an absurd 17 in 2018. What’s more, Allen — who led the Wildcats in tackles (88) last season as an edge rusher — is a turnover machine. Since 2016, he forced 11 fumbles.

Kiper’s Favorite Cornerback

ESPN’s two draft gurus recently completed another mock draft, this time going back and forth for three rounds. Once again, Josh Allen was slated third overall to the Jets, while Lonnie Johnson fell to the Redskins in the middle of the third round at No. 76 overall. In a separate piece, Kiper said Johnson is his favorite cornerback prospect in the draft and could go all the way into the second round.

There are some big corners in this class. I count six in my top 10 who are at least 6-foot-1. And Johnson, who spent three years at junior colleges before coming to Kentucky in 2017, is right there with the best of the best. My sixth-ranked corner, Johnson is long and athletic, and he’s not afraid to tackle. He also blocked two kicks for the Wildcats.

There could be a run on corners in the second round. Johnson could make an immediate impact for the team that picks him.

Only one more week until Allen, Johnson and the rest of the Wildcats learn their NFL fate.

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Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

1 Comment for One Week Until Kentucky Invades Nashville for the NFL Draft



  1. DelrayCat
    4:08 pm April 18, 2019 Permalink

    Big George will be starting in the NFL in 2 years.