You thought we were done with mock drafts for the year, didn’t you? Just one more, pinky swear, but I wanted to take a brief look at next year’s draft class.
We did this last year and the Pittsburgh Steelers pick, Alabama’s Anferee Jennings, ended up returning to school for his senior season. But the mock had several big names who actually went high in the draft: Nick Bosa, Andre Dillard, and Clelin Ferrell (who went #4, funny enough) all appeared in the top 32 back then. So hey, it has some merit. That’s all I’m saying.
Sports Illustrated took a crack at a 2020 prediction. Using Vegas odds for the draft order, at pick #21, they have the Steelers selecting Florida corner C.J. Henderson, offering a short rationale for the pick.
“The Steelers get another cornerback to work with in the AFC North, and Henderson finds a mentor in Joe Haden.”
Henderson will be a junior in 2019, meaning he’ll have to declare in order to be draft-eligible. But he’s had a strong start to his college career. He picked off four passes as a freshman and another two as a sophomore. Last year, he helped out in other areas, recording 5 TFL, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Unusual numbers for a corner.
Listed at 6’1, 191 pounds, he started all 13 games for the Gators last season. He has two career pick six’s, both coming in 2017. Here’s one of them against Michigan.
While the Steelers drafted Justin Layne in the 3rd round, it’s possible the team could again be looking at a corner high in the draft. Joe Haden may get an extension but for now, is entering the final year of his deal while Mike Hilton’s future seems at least a little uncertain. Cam Sutton has struggled to find a consistent role, too.
In this mock, Henderson is the first corner off the board. The top five includes: QB Tua Tagovailoa, WR Jerry Jeudy, DT Derrick Brown, OT Andrew Thomas, and QB Justin Herbert. Herbert nearly declared for this year and may have been the top QB in this class but decided to return to Oregon for another year.