TCU defensive end Ben Banogu could be a first-round pick in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, according to ESPN’s Todd McShay.
McShay picked Banogu to go No. 30 overall to the New England Patriots in his first mock draft for 2018. He is the only TCU player that McShay picked to go in the first round. The ESPN analyst has been high on Banogu all season.
Bill Belichick loves to collect versatile edge defenders, and Banogu fits the bill. A former transfer from Louisiana Monroe, he didn’t get much national attention this season but was always around the ball on the tapes I studied and was highly productive (15.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks).
Banogu had to sit out the 2016 season after transferring from Louisiana-Monroe, but exploded onto the scene this year. The junior defensive end got some NFL draft buzz earlier this season after racking up 3 sacks and 6 total tackles for loss in the Frogs’ first four games.
He finished the regular season with the second-most sacks on the team behind Mat Boesen (11 1/2), but Boesen got almost half of that production in one game against Baylor.
Banogu hasn’t announced yet whether he will return for his senior year or declare for the draft. When the draft hype first started, TCU coach Gary Patterson said he thought Banogu needed more reps at the college level.
“The maturity factor in him for playing at the next level is that he needs to get much experience as he can,” Patterson said in October. “That’s what I would tell him if he asked for it.”
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft is Jan. 15.