Looking at mock drafts for Maryland’s NFL hopefuls
Running back Anthony McFarland carries the ball during Maryland football's 38-7 loss to Michigan on Nov. 2, 2019. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
With the current lack of sports, the upcoming NFL Draft — which will be entirely virtual — will serve as a momentary dose of normalcy.
While it does not appear Maryland will have a first round draft pick for the third consecutive season, the Terps will still likely have players’ names get called over the weekend. Though most high-profile websites do not do full seven-round mock drafts, we’ve still put together a list of where some experts think a few Terps will go.
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.
McFarland’s production in his two seasons with Maryland is nothing to scoff at, and he has shown flashes of serious NFL potential. As a result, he is being viewed as one of the sleeper candidates in the draft.
Bleacher Report: Round 6, Pick 212, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts would likely use McFarland as a depth running back. Marlon Mack has put together two impressive seasons, and Nyheim Hines has proven himself to be a capable backup. However, McFarland could still add something to their running back group.
Walter Football: Round 6, Pick 212, New England Patriots
This scenario would see McFarland heading to another situation where he would feature as a depth back. New England spent a first-round pick in 2018 on Sony Michel, while the Pats also frequently use James White. However, McFarland fits White’s mold as a smaller, shiftier running back and could be a good addition.
DraftSite: Round 7, Pick 247, New York Giants
McFarland falling all the way to the final 10 picks of the draft would be a surprise, but New York would not be the worst situation in the world. Star back Saquon Barkley is coming off an injury riddled season, and Wayne Gallman did not impress while filling in as replacement.
RB Javon Leake
Leake’s 2019 season was one of the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing Maryland football campaign. He showed off his lightning speed many times, breaking free for numerous big runs and kick returns. Leake could be useful in the NFL both as a running back and as a return man.
Bleacher Report: Round 4, Pick 121, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers run game was a massive disappointment in 2019, and selecting a running back early on day three of the draft would make sense. This would be a situation where Leake could thrive, as neither James Conner nor Benny Snell had an impressive 2019 season.
Walter Football: Round 6, Pick 189, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are set at starting running back with Leonard Fournette having a mini-resurgence in his third season. However, Jacksonville does not have a true backup, and Leake could easily fill that role.
DB Antoine Brooks Jr.
Brooks was one of Maryland’s defensive leaders and standouts each of the past three seasons. The 2019 All-Big Ten selection should be hearing his name called in the draft.
Bleacher Report: Round 4, Pick 124, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles would be a good spot for Brooks to see the field. His competition for playing time would be with Will Parks and Rodney McLeod, and even if he was not able to win a starting spot, he should be able to get plenty of time as a rotational piece in the secondary.
Walter Football: Round 7, Pick 246, Miami Dolphins
Brooks falling to the seventh round would be a surprise, but the Dolphins could be a good landing spot. Miami only has three safeties on roster right now in Bobby McCain, Adrian Colbert and Montre Hartage. None of the three recorded more than 20 tackles in 2019, meaning Brooks would be in the thick of the competition.
Draft Site: Round 4, Pick 134, Atlanta Falcons
Brooks landing with the Falcons early on day three would mean he would likely see much of the field in his rookie season. Atlanta’s star safety Keanu Neal has dealt with injury problems the past two seasons, only appearing in four games. With Neal’s injury history, this could be an interesting spot for Brooks.
DB Tino Ellis
Ellis saw his senior season cut short due to injury, and his draft stock took a hit as a result.
Walter Football: Round 7, Pick 226, Chicago Bears
If Ellis is drafted by Chicago, he would likely be a depth piece, much like fellow former Terp Josh Woods. The Bears had an above average secondary in 2019, and it would be unlikely that a seventh-round pick would penetrate that. However, J.C. Jackson went undrafted in 2018 and wound up as a starter for the Patriots, so it could still happen.