The Athletic projects James, Pritchett to be taken in the third round of the NFL draft

Opening night of the NFL draft is behind us, and the SEC was well represented in the first round as 10 former players within the conference were taken by professional teams.

Could Auburn have their first representative selected on day two? Dane Brugler of The Athletic thinks so.

Following the action of the first round, Brugler released his NFL rounds 2 and 3 mock draft which included two former Tigers. Brugler projects former cornerbacks DJ James and Nehemiah Pritchett to hear their names called within the early stages of round three. James is forecasted to join the Carolina Panthers with the first pick of the third round, No. 65 overall. At the same time, Pritchett is projected to be taken by the Washington Commanders two picks later at No. 67 overall.

Both players see a jump in projection from Brugler’s last mock draft released on April 17. James was forecasted to go No. 97 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals while Pritchett was expected to be taken with the No. 105 pick by the Los Angeles Chargers. Former Auburn quarterback Bo Nix also jumped after Brugler’s projections showed him going to the Los Angeles Rams in the second round. Nix was chosen No. 12 overall by the Denver Broncos during last night’s first-round coverage.

Outside of James and Pritchett, two other former Tigers are expected to be taken during the final day of the NFL draft. Safety Jaylin Simpson is projected to be taken No. 133 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars according to Brugler’s April 17 mock draft while defensive lineman Marcus Harris is expected to go No. 170 overall to the New Orleans Saints.

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