In early March ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper thought there was a possibility that Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief could be picked in the first round.
Wednesday, in a media conference call, Kiper projected Moncrief solidly in the second round.
“He’s a second-round pick, and there are a host of teams that need wide receivers. Somewhere in that second round he comes off the board,” Kiper said.
Prior to his NFL combine experience Moncrief had been projected as a third- or fourth-round selection in a draft heavy with underclass entries at his position. Nine of the top 10 wide receivers are underclassmen, according to Kiper.
It seems that it was difficult for Kiper to get a read on Moncrief early. Back in March Kiper said, “Donte Moncrief is an enigma. He’s an incredible talent, big, athletic and fast. I had a high grade for him at the beginning of the year, anticipating a top 10 to 15 pick for him in August, but he did not materialize. He flashed it, he had some drops, but he was not as explosive.”
At that time Kiper left open a first-round possibility for Moncrief. With the May 8-10 draft much closer, Kiper is much more certain of a second-round pick.
Moncrief’s biggest challenge to succeed at the next level is to become more physical.
“He has to become more physical and get off press coverage. He has to maximize all the skills he brings to the position. You did not see that utilized on the field. He was not able to translate all that talent to the field on a regular basis. Quarterback play was a factor and was sketchy at times, but there corners he should have been able to dominate, and some games he did.”