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ESPN’s Mel Kiper thinks highly of Josh Allen in first mock draft

The king of all NFL Draft analysts likes Josh Allen. A lot.

In his first mock draft for 2019, Kiper has the now former Kentucky outside linebacker as the No. 2 overall pick behind Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa. He has Allen as the No. 3 overall prospect in the current draft class.

“He has been underrated in this class, and now he has a chance to be a top-10 pick,” Kiper wrote for ESPN. “Allen is disruptive, and he has length that NFL teams love as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He had 17 sacks this season, including three-sack games against South Carolina and Penn State, and he forced five fumbles.”

Kiper has Allen headed to the San Francisco 49ers, who have the second pick behind the Arizona Cardinals. The analyst has the first four teams selecting all going defense — Bosa, Allen, then Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams at No. 3 to the Jets, followed by LSU defensive back Greedy Williams going to the Oakland Raiders at No. 4.

Kiper has now former UK star Benny Snell ranked as the No. 8 running back on his “big board” for this year’s draft. Former Madison Southern star Damien Harris is listed No. 1 after playing four years at Alabama. His Crimson Tide teammate Josh Jacobs is at No. 2 on the running backs list.

Kiper has Mike Edwards ranked as the No. 8 safety. Alabama’s Deionte Thompson is No. 1 on his safety list.

Allen set a school single-season record with 17 sacks this past season. Overall, he had 21 tackles for loss and forced five fumbles. He recovered two fumbles. Allen also broke up four passes.

Snell rushed for 1,449 yards this past season to become the school’s all-time leading rusher in just three seasons. As a true freshman, Snell rushed for 1,091 yards. He followed that by rushing for 1,333 yards in 2017. He ended up with 3,873 rushing yards and 48 rushing touchdowns.

Edwards was fourth on the team in tackles with 82. He had nine tackles for loss, six pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Todd McShay, also a draft analyst for ESPN, has Josh Allen ranked as the 10th best overall prospect.

The NFL Draft is April 25-27 in Nashville.

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