Mitch Leidner is the #2 Senior quarterback coming into the 2016 season from an NFL Draft perspective. That's not me, that's NFL Draft "guru" Mel Kiper of ESPN. No, I'm not kidding.
Mel Kiper's top QBs for 2017 draft. Apparently Webb can't win starting job at Texas Tech but is a franchise NFL QB. pic.twitter.com/gLSZLozo9E— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) May 22, 2016
By my count this makes 5 major to fairly major draft forecasters who have Mitch as a "sleeper" pick, as a top senior quarterback, or as the #25 pick in the 1st round. This is clearly a thing that will continue for the rest of the summer until on the field things happen this fall.
What is going on here? I have only two explanations.
1) There is a not insignificant amount of chatter in NFL circles (scouts, ballboys, the valet for Jerry Jones) that Mitch has the measurables (size, speed, etc) that seem promising. This sort of talk would be completely separate from Mitch's performance on the field, because near as I can tell that's how these early draft rumors get going when they don't make total sense.
2) Everyone in NFL draft guru land has decided to troll the hell out of college football and NFL blog Twitter this summer. Seriously. Look at that Top 5 senior QB list again and tell you'd sign off on any of those guys as a sure fire draft pick. Hell, you couldn't sell me on Connor Cook as a 1st round pick this spring and he'd accomplished quite a bit more than Mitch has at this point.
Do not mistake me. I like Mitch, I'm happy that he's our QB, and I think he's a good QB. I'm likely the tallest guy on #LeidnerIsland. But I know full well this off-season talk is just talk. If there are people at scout level or above who feel this way today that's good news for Mitch. It means he'll have the chance to prove himself in 2016 and could find himself happy come draft weekend.
Until the real football starts though? Troll on Kiper. Troll on.