Saturday, May 20, 2023

2025 NFL Mock Draft: An Early Look at Some Potential First-Rounders

Many will say it's "way too early" to post a 2024 NFL mock draft. While those people are probably right, we didn't listen.

Those same people would surely say that it's "way too early" to post a 2025 NFL mock draft. We tend to agree, but it doesn't mean that we can't talk about some true freshmen from the 2022 college football season that will become draft-eligible in 2025.

Of course, there's no guarantee that these true freshmen will declare, once eligible, but here are a few names that you might hear when the 2025 draft rolls around.

Since any future draft discussion should begin with quarterbacks, there are two true sophomores who will become full-time starters in 2023 and could put themselves in position to be the top overall pick when the draft rolls around in 2025 (or when they declare).

Cade Klubnik, QB, Clemson

The former five-star recruit from Westlake H.S. (alma mater of Drew Brees, Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger) took over for DJ Uiagalelei, who was benched in the ACC Championship Game (and other games earlier in the season), and started in the Orange Bowl to close the season. With Uiagalelei transferring to Oregon State, Klubnik enters 2023 as Clemson's unquestioned starter. Klubnik flashed in his limited opportunities, but his mobility and ability to make all the throws should make him a highly-coveted prospect when he declares for the NFL Draft, whether that's in 2025 or later. If he's not the first quarterback off the board, the biggest competitor at this early juncture is ...

Drew Allar, QB, Penn State

With soon-to-be 25-year-old Sean Clifford off to the NFL, the highly-touted Allar takes over as Penn State's starting quarterback. Allar was the third-ranked recruit overall (and top quarterback) in 247 Sports recruiting rankings in 2022. Allar is a big-framed quarterback (6-5, 242) with outstanding arm strength and enough mobility to extend plays. He appeared in 10 games as a freshman, and he completed 35-of-60 pass attempts for 344 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions while also rushing for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Harold Perkins Jr., LB, LSU

Despite being only a true freshman, Perkins was one of the best players in the country over the second half of 2022. He led LSU in tackles for loss (13), sacks (7.5) and forced fumbles (four) last season, and nearly all of that production occurred over his final seven games (11 TFL, six sacks and four forced fumbles). Perkins has the potential to impact the game in a variety of ways as an off-ball linebacker with sky-high pass-rushing upside. Even though he has a minimum of two more years before he can declare for the draft, you could argue the former five-star recruit is already college football's best defender.

Mykel Williams, EDGE, Georgia

Georgia has had eight first-round picks over the past two drafts, and seven of those first-rounders played defense. Williams flashed as a true freshman on Georgia's star-studded defense. Not only is he a very good run defender, but he finished his first season in Athens with 6.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks including a pair of sacks in the College Football Playoff.

Will Johnson, CB, Michigan

Johnson, whose father played safety for the Wolverines in the 90's, has an outstanding combination of size (6-2, 194), speed and ball skills. He finished last season with three interceptions and six passes defended.

Benjamin Morrison, CB, Notre Dame

Notre Dame hasn't had a first-round cornerback in nearly three decades (1994, Jeff Burris). While he won't be draft-eligible until 2025, Morrison has a chance to end their first-round cornerback drought. Morrison's father Darryl was a sixth-round pick in 1993, and the true freshman had six interceptions in 2022. With matchups against USC (Caleb Williams), Ohio State (Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka) and Clemson (see Klubnik above), Morrison will have several high-profile opportunities to showcase his skill set.

Will Campbell, OT, LSU

Along with Texas offensive tackle Kelvin Banks Jr., Campbell will be in the mix to be the OT1 in 2025. The true freshman started 13 games at left tackle for the Tigers, and he was named Second-Team All-SEC in 2022. Campbell, who played 973 offensive snaps, allowed only three sacks and anchored a line that paved the way for a school-record 39 rushing touchdowns.

Nick Singleton, RB, Penn State

Singleton has a great combination of size (6-0, 228) and speed (ran a 10.89 100 meters in high school). In 2022, he became the third Penn State freshman (along with Saquon Barkley and D.J. Dozier) to rush for at least 1,000 yards. The freshman averaged 6.8 yards per carry as he rushed for 1,061 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding 11 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Quinshon Judkins, RB, Ole Miss

While there may not be two first-round, let alone top-12, running backs in 2025 (like there was in 2023), Jenkins could hear his name called early in 2025. Although he didn't enter college with as much fanfare as Singleton, Judkins led the SEC in rushing with 1,567 yards and 16 touchdowns despite having a former five-star recruit (Zach Evans) on the Ole Miss roster. Per PFF, Judkins had 67 missed tackles forced, fifth-most among returning running backs.

Later this year, our 2025 NFL mock draft will be updated to project the first round.

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