2011 NBA Mock Draft: Is Jeremy Tyler A First Round Pick?

via cdn1.sbnation.com

SB Nation's 2011 NBA mock draft came down the pipe this morning, and while it's written by the always-excellent Tom Ziller, there's one late first round pick that seems a bit out of place:

Jeremy Tyler is the 27th player selected (to the New Jersey Nets) in his version of the 2011 NBA Draft.

Ziller backs himself by writing "I just needed to get Jeremy Tyler into the first round of one mock draft to settle a bet from 2008. Move along," but there's been rumblings around the internet that Ziller's projection isn't crazy including NBA.com's David Aldridge projecting Tyler to go as high as 23 to the Houston Rockets.

It's not unheard of to think that Jeremy Tyler is a first-round pick -- he's been coached by Bob Hill for a full season in Japan and is now doing his pre-draft workouts with the former NBA head coach who also prepared Blake Griffin for the NBA -- but I think it's a bit early to project him as such prior to the official NBA Draft combine or any individual workouts.

But, looking through everything, Tyler was completely off the grid this past season while playing behind former NBA Draft lottery pick Robert Swift in a second-rate Japanese league. None of his games were on Synergy (unlike a decent majority of first round International prospects), his averages weren't outstanding and there's a host of other bigs that probably are less volatile than the 19-year-old big man.

This isn't to say that Tyler is a sure-fire second round guy and there's nothing he can do to creep up into the first round, but I don't think he's done enough yet to earn that honor (even if he does have Ridiculous Upside©). In the near future, perhaps even tomorrow, I'll do my best to get a brief scouting report out there for those intrigued by Tyler.

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