ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes former Georgia inside linebacker Roquan Smith is a perfect fit with one particular team.
In his second mock draft of the NFL offseason, Kiper placed Smith 10th overall to the Oakland Raiders. Smith went unchanged from Kiper's first mock, which also placed him with the Raiders. Kiper thinks Smith is a perfect match for what new Raiders head coach Jon Gruden wants to do from a defensive perspective.
"This match makes too much sense, so I'm sticking with it," Kiper wrote. "Smith could be the centerpiece of Jon Gruden's Raiders defense, playing inside linebacker. He had 137 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks last season, and he was a force in the College Football Playoff, making plays from sideline to sideline."
While Smith had a spectacular season from start to finish, he saved some of his best football for the final three games of the year. In the SEC Championship, Smith earned MVP honors by totaling 13 tackles (10 solo) and a sack. In the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma, Smith recorded 11 tackles and was named the game's defensive MVP.
In the College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama, Smith accounted for 13 tackles (nine solo) and a sack.
While Smith remained at No. 10 overall, Kiper moved another Georgia player into his first round. Like his ESPN counterpart Todd McShay, Kiper now has offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn in the first round. And Kiper placed Wynn 26th overall to the Atlanta Falcons.
"Wynn is another prospect who helped himself at the Senior Bowl," Kiper wrote. "He was one of the best offensive linemen there, and he neutralized pass-rushers on almost every one-on-one rep. Wynn played guard and tackle for the Bulldogs, but at 6-2, 308, scouts see him as a guard at the next level. By picking Wynn, Atlanta could upgrade on Wes Schweitzer on the right side or move on from Andy Levitre on the left side."
In its history, Atlanta has drafted nine players from Georgia. The last UGA player the Falcons selected was linebacker Akeem Dent in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft.
Wynn started every game in 2017 at left tackle and helped account for a major increase in run production. This past season, the Bulldogs finished ninth in the nation in rushing at 258.4 yards per game.
During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Kiper added that Wynn could be of quick assistance for Atlanta if he were to end up there.
"I think he could be an immediate starter for the Falcons," Kiper said.