The player many think is the best in the LSU Tigers secondary could declare for the 2012 NFL Draft Thursday. But Tyrann Mathieu is only a sophomore! We're talking about his complement, of course: cornerback and return man Morris Claiborne. Both he and defensive tackle Michael Brockers are expected to announce their draft decisions at a press conference, meaning they're expected to announce they're turning pro.
Claiborne, the only LSU player to pick off more than two passes on the year (he had six), projects as a a top-five pick. In SBNation.com's latest 2012 mock draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick him up at No. 5. Thoughts from Ryan Van Bibber on the selection:
Aqib Talib may not go to prison, against all odds. If he doesn't, the Buccaneers still need to find a more consistent corner to replace him. They could even get the double shocker if Ronde Barberrides off into the sunset. Claiborne is that rare cornerback worthy of a top-five pick. The new coach, whoever that may be, will love to have a talented guy like this anchoring the back of his defense for what he'll hope is more successful tenure than Raheem Morris' was.
Brockers, six-foot-six and 306 pounds, is expected to be picked in the second or third round, it seems. He racked up 10 tackles for loss on the year and blocked a field goal in the national title game, which may have been LSU's best offense of the entire night.
For more on Claiborne and Brockers, visit LSU blog And the Valley Shook.