NFL Draft analysts continue to predict big things for Mitch Leidner, but Gophers coach Tracy Claeys is keeping things in perspective. The 6-4, 237-pound Leidner has a strong arm and 35 games of college experience and posted a 59.5 completion percentage last year as a junior. The Gophers can't wait to see what he does as a senior after having surgery to repair ligament damage in his left foot.
But when asked about Leidner's first-round potential on the recently completed Gopher Road Trip, Claeys tapped the brakes a bit.
"Here's the thing, I don't pay attention much to the NFL stuff," Claeys said. "I would say this: He has the size, he has the skills they look for. Mitch knows — to be a No. 1 pick, he's going to have to play well. So everybody gets a little ahead of themselves by writing articles like that.
"But we do have expectations for him being a senior. … I think Mitch will have a big year. And if he does, he'll get rewarded next spring."