The draft stock of Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (big shocker here) appears to have fallen.
Prior to the start of the season, Leidner was thought to be one of the top quarterbacks in the 2017 draft class. However, during a conference call with local reporters Thursday, ESPN's Mel Kiper no longer views Leidner among the elites.
"Leidner, I'm not as high on, maybe as you thought you would be at this time when you started back in August," Kiper said via the Star Tribune. "I think he's more a late-round guy."
The Gophers finished the regular season 8-4, but it wasn't Leidner's best season. He completed just 56.4 percent of his passes for 2,040 yards, with 7 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Passing only tells part of the story for Leidner who ran for another 340 yards and 10 touchdowns, but some of his interceptions came at crucial times – including four in the second half in the loss to Wisconsin.
Kiper isn't the only NFL Draft expert to temper his view on Leidner's draft status.
CBS Sports ranks Leidner 25th among college football quarterbacks, and doesn't project the Lakeville native will get drafted.
Walter Football puts him 20th and predicts he'll go somewhere in the sixth round at the earliest, but possibly undrafted.
That's a long ways from where ESPN's Todd McShay predicted Leidner's stock to be last May, when he said Leidner would go 25th overall to Dallas.
The Pioneer Press notes Leidner will have a few more chances to impress pro scouts.
The Gophers play in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego later this month and Leidner has also agreed to play in the Tropical Bowl Jan. 15 in Tampa, Florida. There's the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine to show off at as well.