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Mel Kiper Jr. predicts T'Vondre Sweat could fall past third round of NFL Draft

profilephotocropby:Suzanne Halliburton04/11/24



Noted analyst Mel Kiper believes T’Vondre Sweat, one of the top defensive tackle prospects available, will drop in the NFL Draft as a result of his DWI arrest this past weekend in Austin.

However, Kiper, who has spent decades covering the NFL Draft for ESPN, said Sweat still has a good football future. Kiper made these comments, Thursday, on a teleconference with media covering the NFL. Sweat is familiar to Texas Longhorn fans. The big defensive tackle was an All-American and won the Outland Trophy last fall as he helped lead Texas to the college football playoffs.

“I think it definitely is something that will impact you know, from a negative standpoint, for obvious reasons,” Kiper said of Sweat’s arrest.

Kiper said Sweat is a throwback tackle to another NFL Draft era

However, Kiper said NFL teams already had started to drop Sweat in the draft. And it wasn’t because of alleged bad behavior. Rather, his game and his 366-pound build harken back to bygone football days.

“He was projected now as being more of a that stay-at-home type run-stuffer … a 1980s style defensive tackle,” Kiper said. “I like that (position), think you need that. We had (Jordan) Davis from Georgia going in the first round to the Eagles. I think now teams want this disruption. They want sacks, they want hurries, they want a guy who can be a factor getting after the quarterback from the interior.

“It’s not that style of play anymore like it was back in the 80s when (Sweat) would have been a much higher pick.”

According to an arrest report, Sweat was driving an orange Ford Bronco early Sunday morning. Another car, driven by teammate S’Maje Burrell, crashed into the back of the Bronco, with the traffic accident occurring on I-35 in north Austin. Sweat lost control of the Bronco and it rolled over on its side. Later Sunday, police arrested Sweat for a DWI, which in Texas in a Class B misdemeanor.

Kiper said the arrest will drop him. The NFL Draft analyst already projected Sweat as a third rounder before the arrest.

“Then you throw this in and then all of a sudden you’re talking about dropping down a little further,” Kiper said. “So I think when you’re looking at T’Vonde Sweat, he will have a roll with an NFL defense. He’ll just have to come off the board a little later. I thought maybe third round, now you might move him down a little bit further than that.”

Kiper did say that he has the Longhorns with three first rounders. Fellow UT defensive tackle Byron Murphy could be the top Texas player off the board. Plus, Kiper predicts receivers Xavier Worthy and Adonei Mitchell also will be among the top 32 players selected on April 25, the first night of the NFL Draft. You can check out On3’s draft coverage here.