|02-19-2014, 02:36 PM|
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EPIC 3-hour Mayock conference call.
Again, nobody cares if you don't like Mayock.
This is just for discussion purposes, and/or to increase your understanding of the available talent in this year's draft.
NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock
MIKE MAYOCK: From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I've seen in probably ten years. That's been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts I've talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top 20 pick this year is very similar to having a Top 10 pick last year.
So I think there's more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked this year and you can get a quality player through three or four rounds.
Q. I wonder if you could identify some of the quarterbacks you see as more athletic and maybe be able to add something on their own and the more athletic quarterbacks coming into the league the last couple years. Do you see that continuing as long as they are playing spread offenses at levels below the NFL or is it unrelated to that?
MAYOCK: No, that's a very good question and it is related. We are seeing more and more in the NFL reflective of the college game. And it's not just the ability to run a zone read or be that guy but also the ability to slide and move in the pocket and create opportunities by using your legs to throw the ball down the field.
So as far as athletes are concerned, a guy like Teddy Bridgewater is an athletic kid but he slides and moves to find an opportunity to throw the football. We all know what is up with Johnny Manziel is all about.
I think as you go down the list a little bit, there are guys like Stephen Morris and Tajh Boyd that are highly athletic and Logan Thomas to me is the wild card of this year's quarterback class. He's got tremendous talent and mobile skills but he might not go until late in the draft. I think you'll see reflected throughout the quarterback class, there's a whole group of mobile quarterbacks that still have good arms and can throw from the pocket.
Q. I'm trying to get a handle on the outside linebackers in this draft, specifically the edge rushers that can play in a 3 4, and I don't know how much you've looked at teams around the league but the Eagles certainly someone of that caliber. Could they get someone in the first round at No. 22 that can step in and start right away or Barr and Mack, will they be gone by that point?
MAYOCK: I think [Khalil] Mack is a Top 10 player; I actually think he's a Top 5 player. I think [Anthony] Barr has got considerable upside and will be off the board before the Eagles.
The one guy that's kind of interesting and it might be a little bit high but Dee Ford from Auburn is kind of that edge rush guy. He doesn't have as much length as you might like, and he might be more comparable to Bruce Urban when Seattle took I think at number 15 two years ago. He's a guy with some real edge burst and he's a guy that would fit what the Eagles do.
Q. I want to get a handle on the wide receivers, and when you look at the Ravens, 16th or 17th spot when you look at the top receivers you have, Sammy Watkins and Evans, which of those guys do you think could be available to the Ravens in the middle of that first round there?
MAYOCK: Really interesting because it's the best wide receiver draft I've seen in years and obviously depending what happens in front of them. Watkins will be long gone and then you start to get into what flavor do you like. Marqise Lee is a completely different receiver than Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin.
So I really believe when the Ravens get on the clock at 16, that probably at least one, if not two of those three, will be available and they bring different things to the table. Lee can play inside or outside. He's a dangerous kickoff return guy. Evans and Benjamin are kind of today's flavor in the NFL, those 6 5, 230 pound wide receivers, the back shoulder throws, outside the numbers in the red zone.
I think if you're a Ravens fan, you're going to know that at least one, if not two of those three guys, will be available in that slot.
Q. I have a question specifically about Rutgers wide receiver Brandon Coleman, a guy who had a higher stock probably at this time last year. What kind of questions does he have to answer about his health at the Combine and where do you see him falling in with all these talented receivers in his class?
MAYOCK: Yeah, he's an interesting kid because 2012 was obviously a much better year for him. I think he had 42 or 43 catches, but ten of them went for touchdowns. After a couple of intriguing years, he comes into 2013, he's had off season knee surgery. The questions that you have to answer, one, he's going to go through a medical barrage.
Number two, can he separate; on tape, he looks like he has very average speed, but because of his size, you can create separation just by your sheer bulk, so I think what you want to see here is what kind of speed does he really have. He's got tremendous catching radius because of his length and he has some inconsistent hands. I know he makes great catches but he also makes some pretty easy drops. I want to see him catch everything and I want to find out how fast he really is.
Q. And then if I can ask about one other specific, Notre Dame's [Bennett] Jackson, what do you see out of him and where do you have him slotted in?
MAYOCK: I think Bennett Jackson is a corner with some length. He's got to get stronger. He's got some pretty good movement skills but he's not an elite speed guy, so he has to use his length to compete on the outside and I think he's probably going to be mid to late draftable, somewhere in that fifth round or so.
Q. I wanted to ask you about two senior corners, Antone [Exum] and [Kyle] Fuller, coming off the knee injury, what is the outcome for them and what does Antone specifically with that injury have to show at the Combine?
MAYOCK: Yeah, the injury thing is tough on [Antone Exum] because he's a good football player and I kind of wanted to know, was he a corner, because of his size, can he play safety and how well.
So A is medical and B is he in shape and what kind of running ability does he have right now and what is he going to run that 40. The most important thing for me in the defensive back is how well does he move. I want to determine in my mind whether he's a corner or a safety.
The Fuller kid I really like. I have got him as my third ranked corner. I think he's a first round talent. He's long, he tackles, he has ball skills. I think the key for him is what he runs that 40 in. If he comes in as a sub four, five, I think he's a first round lock.
Q. I wanted to ask what your thoughts are of Mike Pettine leaving the Bills and with Jim Schwartz coming in, how their overall needs or what they are looking for might base based on their defensive coordinator changing?
MAYOCK: I think it's one of those situations where philosophically they are similar defensive coaches, they might get it done differently from an X & O perspective but philosophically they are both tough, attacking defensive coordinators.
And I think it's going to be in this situation, more up to Jimmy to learn what they have done the last couple years as opposed to bringing in a completely different system and trying to get all the players to adjust to it. I think they will see a lot of what they had last year with a little bit of influence from Jim Schwartz.
Q. Can you elaborate more on [Khalil] Mack?
MAYOCK: Yeah, I put the tape on not really knowing what to expect. I knew he had a lot of positive reviews from around the country.
But first tape I put in was Ohio State, and he blew them up. He made plays all over the field, on the edge, dropping into coverage, explosion, hustle.
Then I think the next tape I put in was Kent State and he made a one handed interception. He runs like a safety. He explodes off the edge. From my perspective in today's NFL, guys that have natural edge rush ability are like gold; you've got to get them when they are available.
I think he's one of the elite edge guys in the draft, but he hustles, he's tough, he can play the run game, and unlike a lot of these guys, he can also drop in coverage. So I have yet to find a hole in his game.
Q. Wondering whether you anticipate that continuing this year and what do you perhaps attribute that to? Is it as simple as the league becoming more of a passing league or are there other things at work there in your opinion?
MAYOCK: I think the biggest issue is that it has become a pass first league. If you look back at the draft 40 years ago, running backs were the most valuable commodity there was. And today, with all the spread offenses and teams throwing the football 60, 70, 80 percent of the time, there's been a completely different emphasis in how you draft offensively.
You know, it starts at quarterback, it goes to wide receiver. It goes to a left tackle and even lately it's gone to what kind of tight ends can you draft that can stress teams vertically on defense.
So I do think it's going to be valued. I do think the good news in this draft and in the last few is that if you can get in the second, third, fourth round, and find different flavors of running backs, you'll see some teams that will draft two or three running backs in one or two drafts, just so you can have a big back and a third down change of pace guy and I think that's where the league has gone and I think that's where it's going to continue to go.
Q. You kind of addressed this in your opening comments but I'd like a little more detail. When you talk about depth, other than wide receiver, what stands out for you in this draft? What's that based on?
MAYOCK: Yeah, well I think it’s a couple things. One is the playmakers at the top end of this draft, it's not just a couple guys. You know, there's three offensive tackles that could go in the Top 10. There's three quarterbacks that could go in the Top 10, and then you've got guys like I mentioned [Khalil] Mack, who is a difference maker, [Anthony] Barr from UCLA, [Sammy] Watkins from Clemson is a tremendous wide receiver.
So we're ten, 11, 12, players deep right there and we have not seen talked about the safety from Louisville [Calvin Pryor] or the tight end from North Carolina [Eric Ebron]. And I could go on and on. There's more quality at the top end of this draft than I've seen in a long time and from a position standpoint; you know, we talked about wide receiver. I think offensive tackle is particularly deep. You can go three rounds, four rounds deep this year, and get a starting offensive tackle.
So from those couple of positions and the quality up top, and I think there's some pretty good corners, by the way, three to four rounds deep. So I'm really excited about this draft.
Q. Can the Cardinals get an offensive tackle in the first?
MAYOCK: My first Top 5 tackle, because I think he can play tackle, but the beauty in this kid is he can play all five positions in the NFL and some teams look at him as a Pro Bowl there for playing at tackle doesn't make much sense.
So I think the first part of that question is, I think Zack Martin is going somewhere in that range, plus or minus 20. If he's available, do the Cardinals buy into him as a tackle.
If not, I think the next guy is [Cyrus] Kouandjio from Alabama, and again, I think he's going to be a guy that can go somewhere 20 to 30, and if you're not going to jump on a tackle in the first round, you can get into the second round, even later into the second round.
Morgan Moses, Brandon Thomas from Clemson who is a tackle or a guard, but I think he's a tackle, he would probably go late second round. There's a guy named Joel Bitonio from Nevada that most of the fans out there never heard of; he's going to be a second or third round tackle that starts immediately; Jack Mewhort from Ohio State, second or third round starting tackle.
So my point is, I think at 20, sometimes you've got to identify the best player that's there, as opposed to just what your need is, and I think whether they get the tackle at 20 or in the second or third round, they can get a good one.
Q. In talking about cornerbacks and maybe even safeties, which ones do you think are best at the nickel cornerback position?
MAYOCK: My favorite nickel in the draft is Jason Verrett from TCU, and the only reason I wouldn't say he's a top 20 pick is because of his size.
He's 5 9, he's probably 185, but he's ideal for the slot because he's quick footed, he's tough, and remember, the slot guys, what gets overlooked is you have to tackle and this kid is a tough kid even though he's undersized. I really like Verrett.
And I think the other guy that's kind of interesting and I've got him listed as a safety is Lamarcus Joyner from Florida State. He played corner. I think he's a little bit like Tyrann Mathieu in that he was a corner in college, but I think he's going to have to kick inside and either be a safety or a nickel or both and he's an explosive kid like Tyrann Mathieu.
Those are the two guys right off the top that I like at nickel.
Q. If you could just give us your breakdown on Johnny Manziel, what you see on tape, good and bad and then maybe how you compare to contemporary quarterbacks?
MAYOCK: I am stunned it took that long to get to Johnny Manziel.
You know, he's a different evaluation, and I'll give you my take on him right now. The first tape I put in was Alabama and I put the tape down about two hours later and I said, wow, that was awesome, that was really fun to watch. The kid makes throws, he allows his other players to make plays. He gives Mike Evans a chance to make plays, he extends plays. He was like a combination of Fran Tarkenton and Doug Flutie. I really enjoyed it and there were two or three more tapes like that.
And as I worked my way through, because I wanted a minimum of five for each of the quality quarterbacks before the Combine, and I eventually got to the LSU and Missouri, neither of which were really good tapes.
And both of which the common denominator for me was I felt like he got frustrated in the pocket and I felt like LSU and Missouri did a great job with controlling their rush and keeping him in the pocket, and the more he was in the pocket, the more frustrated he got. He started to lose his accuracy. He started trying to escape the pocket way before he needed to, and I feel like he doesn't like being confined. He likes those open spaces.
And we've got to evaluate him a little differently because of that. And again, I felt like he would back out of the pocket when and he'd try all of a sudden the accuracy is down, the decision making is down. NFL teams are going to clue into that very quickly.
Having said all of that, I do believe he's got the arm strength, athletic ability, the passion for the game, at the end of the day, he's different than any quarterback I've done before. He's different than [Robert Griffin III], different than Cam Newton, different than Andrew Luck, and he's different than Russell Wilson.
But I believe in the kid. I think he's going to be a Top 10 if not a Top 5 pick. But you're going to have to live with some of those negative plays in addition to the positive ones.
Q. Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Combine, whether it's highly rated players or some unheralded guys you've seen on tape, who are you looking to see, okay, these guys have the most to gain in your eyes, in the NFL's eyes, overall.
MAYOCK: I like that question, it's a good one. I really like the tailback from Washington, [Bishop] Sankey, and I want to see him catch the football. I don't get to see enough catches in routes on his college tape. I feel like he can be a lot like the kid out of North Carolina, Giovani Bernard, if he can catch the football like that. So I'm looking forward to seeing that from him.
I'm looking forward to seeing how fast Marqise Lee runs. I want to see the tight end from Oregon [Colt Lyerla], how he reacts to people. I watched film what little tape I could get on him from 2012, he's a gifted, gifted kid, but he's got a bunch of off the field issues.
[Darqueze] Dennard and [Kyle] Fuller, the two corners, I think they are awesome. But my concern with both of them is long speed, and if they both run well, I think they are going to climb even higher, especially the fuller kid, who most people have in the second or third round and then I want to see the freaks, [Jadeveon] Clowney,[Khalil] Mack, there's a kid from Georgia Southern, Jerick McKinnon, who is going to work with the running backs. He also can play corner, and I'm anxious to watch his footwork, and Tom from North Carolina.
There's a bunch of guys at each position I'm excited to see and 6 little archer is another one of those guys I can't wait to see.
Q. You just covered a lot, my question was every year we are sort of introduced to someone who suddenly catches fire at the Combine and there's watercooler talk for the next few months. I wonder if there are any players like that you anticipate seeing, obviously you need to see how they perform at the Combine, but guys you think will become sort of emblematic of this draft class.
MAYOCK: It's interesting, because my whole thing is the fast guys run fast and slow guys run slow and it's only a story of if the opposite happens. If somebody runs 4:25 or 4:28, that's awesome, that's fun, but I get more excited about some of the big guys, the 280 , 300 pound guys that are really athletic freaks, and I think the kid from Minnesota, Ra’Shede Hageman, he's really going to be interesting.
He's 6 6, he's over 300 pounds, he was a high school basketball player. He's got freakish athletic ability and if he puts up the kind of numbers I think he can, in addition to [Jadeveon] Clowney, we're going to be talking about him. I think he's really going to be an interesting guy to watch. I think the tight ends this year…to me is a Top 10 pick and in today's NFL he might even go in the Top 10 just because of what he brings to the table.
Austin Seferian Jenkins from Washington, oh my goodness, does he have a great throwing radius but is he going to run in the 4 7 range or not.
Troy Niklas from Notre Dame, same kind of thing is how fast is he really. I could go right down the list, but I think some of those big defensive ends and linebacker guys are the ones that when it's all over, along with the very athletic tackles, believe it or not, they are the ones we are going to talk about.
Q. Want to see how you are breaking down those Top 3 tackles. The Falcons had some issues with blocking last year.
MAYOCK: You know what, I personally think they need to get an edge guy at six if they can and then go get the tackle later. But, if you want to know about those tackles, I think the safety pick in the offensive line is Jake Matthews from A&M. He's already a professional. He's got a skill set, you plug him in day one and he'll play at a high level.
I think Greg Robinson from Auburn might have the highest upside of any of the offensive linemen in this draft but he's not quite as polished as Matthews or Taylor Lewan. Taylor Lewan gets a little top heavy at times but he's got a nasty finish. I think he's very similar to [Eric] Fisher and [Luke] Joeckel from last year when who were the first couple picks.
So I think all of those guys are worthy of Top 10 picks and I think Robinson is the one with the highest upside but also the one you'll be the most concerned about because he's a little bit more raw.
Q. Going up to get Clowney Mack and Barr would be there?
MAYOCK: Yeah, especially depending how quickly those quarterbacks go. If I'm an Atlanta fan, I'm rooting for three quarterbacks to go as fast as possible so I'm left with nothing but great position players.
Q. Kony Ealy from Missouri, what is your projection for what the best fit for him will be at the next level?
MAYOCK: As far as Ealy is concerned, ended up liking him more than I expected to, and I think he's a 4 3 defensive end. I don't really think he's an outside linebacker.
I think to compare him to, say, [Aldon] Smith who came out a couple years ago. He's not quite as athletic as Aldon Smith, but he's a little more physical, a little better against the run.
So I think he's probably a base 4 3 end and I think he'll go somewhere in that 20, 23 range in the first round.
Q. Would 14 be too high? The Bears need to do something on the defensive threat and with their fast rush.
MAYOCK: No, I don't think it's too high because when you're looking at the pure 4 3 ends in this draft, they are few and far between. Clowney is going to be gone, and Ealy is there at 14, and if he's there he's a good pick and the second and third round, the logical guys are from Oregon State and maybe even Trent Murphy from Stanford.
Q. Just wanted to get your impressions of two Wisconsin kids, the wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and Chris Borland?
MAYOCK: Borland is one of my two or three favorite players this draft and the way I came on him was funny, I was getting ready to do a Notre Dame game, I think I was doing homework on BYU and the tape I happened to put in was Wisconsin and I was like, this 44 is everywhere.
So I was kind of hooked on him early and every tape I've seen since then reinforces that he could have the ability to be the Kiko Alonso of this year's group. I think he's probably going to go in the second round.
I think he's going to start for whatever team takes him and as long as he stays healthy, he's just going to keep making plays. The kid makes plays. He's around the football all the time and I love watching him play football.
Abbrederis, if you put the Ohio State game in he makes the many people think [Bradley] Roby is a first round corner, and I think what I see with Abbrederis is a wide receiver that understands routes more than most wide receivers in college do. He gets in and out the breaks and he's got good speed. I think he's got to get stronger so he doesn't get beat up at the line of scrimmage. I think he's probably a third or fourth round pick.
Q. On Sammy Watkins
MAYOCK: Watkins is a special player, and I usually don't get too excited about wide receivers in the Top 10, but this kid is different.
He's physically explosive. He's got great hands. He's got good size. He's got very good speed and what I really, really liked about this kid is he's got toughness. He'll physically beat press coverage. He high points the ball. He's got a little attitude about him. He blocks people. You can see him getting pissed off during games and going after corners and safeties and linebackers.
So he's got an attitude like he wants to be the best player there is, and when you combine that with his physical ability, I think it's awesome. Now, as far as vertical threats, there are not in my Top 5, I think [Odell] Beckham from LSU is a tremendous wide receiver, has a chance to go late one to mid two. [Davante] Adams from Fresno, another kind of late one to late two type pick. I really like him as an outside receiver who is going to develop over time.
I think Paul Richardson from Colorado, he's undersized, probably won't go until the third round, a little bit like Mike Wallace, didn't have quite as much production but he slides. So there are some names to get you through three rounds anyway and [Allen] Robinson you can put in there from Penn State, also.
Q. You touched on Aaron Donald, and I just wondered, what do you think might push him out of the first round if he doesn't go in the first round and if you might be able to amplify your comments on Tom Savage and also wide receiver Allen Robinson and Devin Street.
MAYOCK: As far as Aaron Donald, he's a guy I loved at Senior Bowl and love him on tape and he's explosive and he's quick.
Now, the problem with the shorter defensive tackles is that when they don't win with their first move, they don't win with their quickness, they can get stuck on blocks because they don't have the length to get off the block. And that's the concern with Donald.
Now, I think this kid's tough enough, quick enough and disruptive enough that he still deserves to be a first round defensive tackle, so I'm a believer in the kid, but there are some people that think he's a second round defensive tackle, because of the lack of length.
Tom Savage, he's kicked around everywhere, he's been to a bunch of different colleges. But I finally got to see him this year stabilized in an offensive system for a year. He's a big, strong kid. I saw him throw the football in 8th grade. Him and my son played on the same All Star Team in eighth grade and I was like, wow, this kid for an eighth grader can really rip it.
Watching him this year, he's still a little bit all over the place. He has some accuracy issues at times, but he can really push the football down the field and he has not been in an offense long enough to really learn. So I think he's got some upside.
And then I think it was Allen Robinson and Devin Street. Robinson to me is a solid second round pick, good production, can get up the field, he has good strength and good size. I just want to see some more burst and the ability to separate.
And Devin Street, he had some injuries or ability issues, pretty solid college football player. I think he's mid to late draftable for the NFL.
Q. Two questions Louisiana related. With the Saints obviously cash strapped, as far as they may be really tough to work in free agency, so where do you think they could possibly look at that 27 spot? I know we talked a lot about best player available late in the draft and then two, just which of the LSU players can really stand out at the Combine? You've talked about Zach Mettenberger and you brought up Beckham.
MAYOCK: One of my favorite players in the draft is Jarvis Landry.
And when I look at those two wide receivers, Landry to me, with his toughness and ability to play inside or outside reminds me a little bit of Hines Ward. He's one of the physically toughest players in this draft, for any position. He catches everything, he's the kind of guy I'd like to have as a teammate, so I really like him.
I think the two defensive tackles [Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson], the two young guys have ability. I wish they had stayed in school longer. I think they could have been higher round picks, but if both of them are in the third round, it wouldn't stun me.
And that tailback at LSU [Jeremy Hill], just to finish for a second there, he's a gifted, gifted kid. I have him as my second tailback now. I don't think he's going to be the second tailback because of all his off the field stuff but he is really a gifted kid. As far as the Saints are concerned at 27, you're right, there's an awful lot of questions there, and you relate it to salary cap and late in the first round, who is left.
I think they have got to get better on that offensive line again. They have had issues there the last couple of years, and when they are really good, Drew Brees can step up in the pocket and it hasn't been quite as good. So at 27, it's just a matter of being nimble, trying to find who is the best offensive lineman left, with some of the guards, might make some sense, like the Yankee kid from Stanford, so they would all make sense to me and who knows what's going to happen with Jimmy Graham if they re sign him if they can't, they will.
Q. On Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
MAYOCK: They are different players. For me, Calvin prior is like a bigger, stronger Bob Sanders. He flies around, he hits people, he explodes everywhere. I think he is a little better in the box than he is on the back end.
It might be just because of the way Louisville used him but that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix did, from the other hand, has got better range, and I think he's more of a deep third, deep half guy, he tackles well and he can invert up into the box. I think he's a complete player, so both of those guys, I wouldn't even blink if they went at No. 10. But it depends what flavor you're looking for because they are a little bit different type players.
Q. And on your receivers, if Sammt Watkins is gone or any other guys from a Top 10 caliber?
MAYOCK: In this draft, I'd have trouble saying they are going to go in the Top 10, but I think both of those guys are going to go 11 to 20.
Q. My question is about the Browns at No. 4 and which of the top quarterbacks you think would fit them best in terms of their division, the environment in which they play most of their games and Kyle Shanahan being on board.
MAYOCK: Yeah, you know what, I'm not sure the Browns know yet who the best one of those three is, are.
Because on one hand, you talk about being in that division is, and I live in the Philadelphia area so I get to see a lot of Baltimore Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and I know that you have to be able to throw the ball in the wind and the cold. You have to have big hands.
There's a lot of stuff about quarterback in those conditions. I think all of those Top 3 quarterbacks could play for the Cleveland Browns. Blake Bortles is kind of a bigger, stronger guy, and people think he's got the biggest arm. I'm not sure if he does or not. I want to see him live.
But I also think he's the least developed of the three. I think [Teddy] Bridgewater is the most ready to play NFL style quarterback in this draft and I think man sell has got that it factor where I don't think it matters if it's Cleveland, Seattle, Dallas, warm weather, cold weather, whatever. I think he's just going to be who he is.
So I understand what Shanahan's offense is and I understand what you're asking me, but I think all three of them could fit depending what they feel about each individual kid.
Q. Just wondering with the cornerback group and the Bengals at 24, just who you might see there out of that group and maybe how many can go in the first round?
MAYOCK: I think [Darqueze] Dennard and [Justin] Gilbert will be gone before Cincinnati is on the clock. Now, you hear me talk about flavors all the time, and with corners, that's very true, you know, what type of flavor are you looking for.
There are a lot of guys with potential first round talent out there, the [Loucheiz] Purifoy kid from Florida but he's had some off the field issues, [Marcus] Roberson from Florida had some injuries, Bradley Roby from Ohio State, some real good tape, some not so good tape.
I am a Kyle Fuller guy, I think he makes a ton of sense but we need to see what he runs. I have him ranked higher than most of the corners out there and like I said earlier why, I think [Jason] Verrett is the ideal nickel in this draft.
I think the top two guys will be gone and then it's just a matter of what Cincinnati and Paul Guenther and that new staff are looking for.
Q. Also because you've known Paul for a while, just how do you think he'll do as the defensive coordinator here?
MAYOCK: I think he'll do great. I mean, he was on Mike Zimmer’s hip for the last several years. He's had a tremendous background for a younger guy.
I think the players respect him. I think like the young linebacker just took Paul and his wife with him to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl which is awesome. He's earned respect and I think he'll do a great job.
Q. I think the Patriots two biggest needs are a defensive tackle and tight end, and let's assume they address both of those at the end of the first and second round. Is there a way to maximize the talent that they get, how would you go about that if you were making those draft picks based on how you expect the board to unfold?
MAYOCK: Interesting question, I think they are sitting there at 29 and obviously depending on how you look at this thing and what type of defensive tackle they are looking for, Louis Nix III and [Timmy] Jernigan are probably gone. Then [Dominique] Easley, the kid I really like from Florida, tore an ACL, his second ACL, so he's not going to go. He's one of those picks that the Patriots tend to get in like the third or fourth round for value, a first round guy later on.
I think [Ra’Shede] Hageman from Minnesota is the big question mark there. If he's still on the board, because he's an explosive kid, he could play a couple different slots and Coach Belichick likes those versatile guys. He's had some off the field questions attached to him but he's got a ton of ability and talent. If Hageman was sitting there, I think he'd be really interesting.
Now, the flipside of that is what happens with the tight ends. The North Carolina kid [Eric Ebron] is going to be long gone, and then there's a lot of different varying opinions on what you're looking for. [Austin] Seferian Jenkins, for lack of a better term, is built like [Rob] Gronkowski whereas [Jace] Amaro from Texas Tech is built more like [Aaron] Hernandez.
So there are a lot of people that like Amaro and point to him as that kind of guy. Depending on what you're looking for, and that's probably the kind of guy they are looking for, if he's sitting there and they like him, he would be logical at 29 and I think the other guy would be Hageman. Outside of that, I think the other top guys are going to be gone.
Q. Michael Sam, I assume you don't have him in the pure 4 3 defensive end category. How would you evaluate him, strength and weaknesses also is there a current player you think his skill set and size sort of emulate a little bit?
MAYOCK: Well, he's a tweener and I think that's why people are having trouble with the evaluation.
And I saw him on Missouri his tape and then again at Senior Bowl and what I saw was a guy that's a natural edge rush guy. He's much better going forward than he is backwards. He's got a little bit of explosion off the edge, but he doesn't have the length.
So he's got linebacker size, but he's got physical skill set of a defensive end. He's a tough fit.
So what I see is a situational pass rush, not an every down player but a situational pass rusher that also can become a core special teams player and I think he goes somewhere in the third to the fifth round.
Off the top of my head, I'm not sure, I think [LaMarr] Woodley is a little bit longer than he is, and a little more explosive, and he's a higher graded guy, so it's hard for me off the top of my head. But he's really kind of tight hipped and I don't think he can play linebacker.
Q. You've talked a little bit about Manziel and everybody is wondering if you're the Texans and you're Bill O'Brien and you're general manager Rick Smith, is it as simple as you've got to find the quarterback who is NFL ready? You mentioned Teddy Bridgewater, or Manziel with his local connections and the "It" factor you mentioned, if he is close to Bridgewater, does that become impossible to pass up from an organizational standpoint?
MAYOCK: An interesting question, because it really comes down to whether or not ownership gets involved.
And from my perspective, ownership should never push a draft pick, especially the first pick in a draft on a coaching staff. It's great when all the world comes together and everybody believes in the same kid and he happens to come from that backyard.
However, I don't think it matters whether or not he's a local kid. I think the important thing is to get the pick right and if they are not in love with any of those three quarterbacks, this is one of the best position Top 10s I've ever seen, and either pick and I'm taking a position kid or trading down makes a ton of sense for these guys.
A, they have to believe in one of those three kids. B, they have to say forget the whole local attraction thing. The most important thing is to build for the future and win football games. That will take care of itself as long as you're winning games.
Q. Since '98, we've had quarterbacks if they are anywhere near that good, they go No. 1. If Clowney goes No. 1, there have not been a lot of defensive players gone No. 1. What convinces you that this kid has got the talent and maybe the physical or mental makeup to make it with the pressure or what gives you pause that maybe he doesn't have that?
MAYOCK: You talking about Clowney?
MAYOCK: I know that he's got the physical makeup to be the best player in the draft. If you want to compare him to Mario Williams, I think he's a better football player with more upside than when Mario came out of college and he was obviously the first pick.
So from a physical skill set, this kid is as freaky as they come. He plays a position of critical importance in today's NFL which is an ability to get the quarterback. He can play multiple places on the defense, so all those things check off.
My biggest concern is just what's his mental makeup and how important is it to him when he gets a big paycheck to become the best player in football, or is he just going to be happy to be a millionaire.
So I think that's the most critical checking point here from an organization is finding out what the motivation, what kind of kid are they going to get. I know what the football player is when motivated. I just want to know what kind of kid I'm getting.
Q. With the Jets at 18, most earn thinks that they have to take a receiver there. Do you subscribe to that thinking and if so, which of the receivers with their varied skill sets that you alluded to earlier do you think would be a best fit for this system?
MAYOCK: Boy, I mean, they need some talent out there, all right, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Jets pick multiple wide receivers this year. If you are sitting there at 18, I had said earlier, I think you can have any one of three receivers sitting there; Marqise Lee fits in that side, then helps in the return game, versus the two big bodied guys, [Mike] Evans and [Kelvin] Benjamin. I think all three of them are talented enough to work with that group.
Curly is already a slot, Holmes is at the end of his career, Stephen Hill is an outside guy. I just think you pick less about X's and O's; which guy is the best football player.
My perspective would be you can't go wrong with either Marqise Lee or Mike Evans.
Q. I had a philosophical question about the evolution of left and right tackle. It seems there's a shrinking distinction in what is a left tackle and right tackle for a various number of reasons. I guess the first question is: Do you subscribe to the theory that the difference between the two is shrinking, and if so what are the biggest contributing factors to that?
MAYOCK: It's an interesting question and I'll take it a step further. Not only are they shrinking, which I agree with, but I think the second most important position on the offensive line might be center.
So what I think we're seeing is that the old days, the defensive always line their best pass rusher up against the left tackle with the theory being it's the blind side of the quarterback, the offense would have to protect the blind side, and in the old days they lined up that way every snap every game.
Now we are seeing defenses getting much more creative, moving guys around, trying to get mismatches wherever they can, overload wherever they can. And sometimes they will put somebody over against a left tackle that they know can't win because they don't care. They will figure, we will try to overwhelm the right side.
So having said all of that, it's gotten a lot closer, the left tackle and the right tackle. The right tackle better be able to pass protect but I also think if you talk to any of the Peyton Manning, Tom Brady type of quarterbacks that are drop back quarterbacks, the thing that bothers them the most is immediate pressure up the middle.
I think the center and that interior offensive line has become more important and the center, because on top of that, they are calling the protections and coordinating the lines. I would say that left tackle followed by center and then right tackle, but it's getting closer and closer to all five up front.
Q. With the Raiders having pretty much a clean slate in terms of salary cap and a full complement of draft picks, how do you expect Reggie McKenzie to proceed with rebuilding this team and who makes the most sense do you think at No. 5?
MAYOCK: Who makes the most sense is a quarterback if there's one there that they believe in and I don't think there's any doubt about that. I was sitting here the other day looking at the Raiders' roster, and in big letters I wrote, "No. 5, quarterback," then "best player available."
They have got to get the quarterback if possible and they do have so many needs that I think they can't get all locked into, oh, we have to get a wide out with the second round pick or we have to get an offensive lineman.
I think they have got to go get football players, and I think you're 100 percent right that now the salary cap issue has changed, I think this is the most critical year for the Raiders in my memory, because they have kind of been through purgatory and now they have got to get out of there and they have to make great decisions on; A, re signing their own players; B, on signing new free agents; and then C, they have to come out of this draft preferably with the quarterback that they can develop and base their entire football team around.
Q. Wondering about Khalil Mack, could he fit into a 4 3 scheme much like the Buccaneers are going to play, or do you think he's strictly an outside linebacker and a 3 4?
MAYOCK: No, I think he could play with his skill set and his ability to drop, his ability to I think he could play SAM or WILL to be honest with you. He's 6 3, 248. You could line him up on a tight end and he'd be okay.
I think the important thing is that if you are drafting him as a 4 3 team you have to make sure that in nickel and sub situations, you're freeing him up to go get the quarterback and in today's NFL, because of the versatility in defenses, I think that's fine.
4 3 teams are doing all kind of different things in sub packages, and I think the most important I think that's why I kind of changed the way I the verbiage I use, and just call them edge shots. I think he's the most after [Jadeveon] Clowney, I think he's the most gifted edge guy in this class, and I think regardless of your scheme, you need to draft them and play them.
Q. What do you like for the Buccaneers at 7? What would you do there if you were running that team?
MAYOCK: I think first and foremost, they do need an edge guy. If [Khalil] Mack was sitting there, he and an offensive tackle would be of interest to me. Now, what I think is interesting on top of that, and again, one or two of those offensive tackles should be there, but I think they also need a new age tight end went number seven and gave your quarterback another weapon, I'd be all for it.
Q. The Eagles last two drafts have been pretty good, and they have talked to finally having the right process, which they mean taking the best player available rather than drafting for need, which they did earlier. When you look at their last two drafts, do you see that as being a key to their success and can you completely disregard need when you're drafting?
MAYOCK: You know, I don't think it's one or the other. I think it's a common sense approach to, okay, just pick a number. Let's say we're picking in the second round at 46 and I have no idea where the Eagles are.
But you're picking at a number, you know what your team needs are and you know what your board says as far as the next best player available on your board. Now, if you're picking 46 and the 21st best player on the board is still sitting there, yet you've got a player at a position of need that's ranked 47th, I think you're crazy if you don't get the guy that's ranked 21. You're just diluting your overall team talent.
I think some teams still subscribe to the best player available at a position of need, and I think that's what the Eagles used to be, and I think you get in trouble there.
So I think it's a little bit of common sense. If it's two players rated in the same area, sure, you pick the position of need. But if there's two players, one who is ranked 20 or 30 slots above another, you're crazy to take a lower ranked player.
Q. I wanted to circle back to Kony Ealy, I saw he was your second ranked defensive end. What stands out about him?
MAYOCK: I mean, nine-and-a-half sacks this year, three forced fumbles. The tape I really liked on him was Texas A&M. I thought he had a great game against [Jake] Matthews and he was a natural edge guy with speed, he had good get off, he had natural bend, he had an ability to dip under offensive tackles. He had some toughness. He's physical, he hustles. He played all across the front depending on the game. I saw him play some nose tackle later in the season.
So I think he's a hustles, plays hard, has some natural edge ability and in today's NFL, that all adds up to a first round pick for me.
(to be continued...)
|02-19-2014, 02:37 PM||#2|
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Q. What makes Teddy Bridgewater more ready and do you think he will still be around when the Browns make their fourth pick?
MAYOCK: Yeah, I mean, you're talking about with the first eight picks in the draft, if I have teams have heavy quarterback needs, including 1 and 3 ahead of Cleveland.
So from my perspective, the reason I think he's the quote most ready to play in an NFL style offense, he was in shotgun, his offense, they threw the ball short, intermediate and deep. He understands three step, five step and he reads more than just half a field.
You can put the tape in and watch him do things and say, yeah, that translates to the next level. He's not as much a wild card as [Johnny] Manziel, and I think he's more developed in his reads and throws than [Blake] Bortles.
So that's why I say, I think he's the most ready to play. Whether or not he's going to be there, that depends what Houston and Jacksonville do.
Q. Working on Clemson and South Carolina, curious about the quarterbacks and all the success they have had, do you think they can translate to the next level and some of those juniors for USC and Clemson that came out early, if any stand out as maybe questionable?
MAYOCK: Tajh Boyd is better arm strength than people think, good mobility, won a lot of football games, has some inconsistency on tape but he's a playmaker and I like that. He's a guy I think you get mid to late in this draft and you can try to develop him, so I like him.
The South Carolina quarterback, [Connor] Shaw, I think given his history medically and off the field, etc. , I love his toughness on the field but I'm just not sure if his body type, if his training is going to warrant taking much of a beating but I think he'll get an opportunity.
As far as some of the other guys, South Carolina, the defensive tackle, [Kelcy] Quarles, I really like. I think he's a second or third round pick.
The corner, [Victor] Hampton, I really like him also. I think his talent is in the second or third round range. I don't know if he'll go that early and the corner from Clemson I'm a little bit intrigued by because he's long, he can run. I think he probably could have benefitted staying in school a little bit longer but I still think he's probably going to go in the third or fourth round.
Q. Your thoughts on picking that late for the Broncos, some of the best available defensive players?
MAYOCK: I think if you're talking at the back end at safety, a guy like Lamarcus Joyner from Florida State could be there and he's an explosive, quick switch athlete that can play safety or nickel. He played mostly corner at Florida State and he's got some special team ability, also.
And then that whole middle like backer thing is interesting to me and I think most people would say it's a little high, a little rich for Chris Borland but I don't believe that. I think Borland could step in and immediately kind of stabilize that whole situation. And what other positions are you looking at?
Q. Corner and even before they got bumped in the Super Bowl, they kind of liked the Seattle model of bigger defensive end
MAYOCK: I think Scott Crichton is an interesting guy from Oregon State, defensive end. He reminds me a little bit of a four man Chris Long, great motor, tough against the run, will get hustle sacks. I like him a lot and 31 is about light for him.
The corner situation, I mentioned earlier how much I like Kyle Fuller from Virginia Tech, he's a longer corner. I think he can flat out play and I'm anxious to see what he runs.
And guys like Keith McGill, you could get him in the second or third round, he's 6 3 and I just watched film his UCLA tape the other day and he has some skills, being a Seattle type corner, he needs to be more consistent. I think you're right, when you get to 31, it's like, okay, we hope it's a defensive player and who is the best guy left standing at that point.
Q. 2004, the 49ers have spent a first second or third round pick on AJ Jenkins, Michael Crabtree, Hill, Williams, Wood and Derek Hamilton. Seems to highlight the difficulty of evaluating wide receivers. If you agree with that, why do you think that position is so hard to evaluate.
MAYOCK: I think it is, it's a good question, and I think there are two reasons. No. 1 is there's not a whole lot of quality press corners in college football, and there are not a whole lot of teams that play a lot of press coverage is probably a better way to say it.
So you get easy access off the line of scrimmage in college that you don't necessarily get at the next level, and then No. 2, with the proliferation of different defenses and having to read on the run in the NFL, if you're able to get off the line of scrimmage, all of a sudden there's a rotation, something else changes, the free safety is gone and now here comes a linebacker and you're like, what's my adjustment on the fly.
I think what happens is a lot of wide receivers slowdown early in their careers because when you are confused, you play slow and when you get off the line of scrimmage, you can't win.
So I think there's a certain amount of evaluation that goes on with college players that doesn't translate to the next level.
Q. We have talked before about what the Chiefs defense needs to do to take the next step, but what
MAYOCK: Kansas City to me, is pretty interesting, and I think you're sitting there, you made the playoffs this year, you've got the 23rd pick in the draft, and when I look at Kansas City, I go, okay, you're pretty solid up front.
Now on the back end, Brandon Flowers is still a solid player, Shaun Smith. I think the free safety position, which we have talked about before, is an important one for them to make some decisions on and I don't know if you can keep two pass rushers like they have on the outside and pay them both for a period of time.
So I think they are going to have to start making some decisions about what they are going to do, especially with that younger player, Justin Houston.
Q. If the Ravens were to not get a receiver there, what kind of players do you like in the cluster of guys that might be appropriate for their needs there at 16 offer 17 depending on the coin flip?
MAYOCK: I think when you start first of all, I do think wide receiver will be there. We have gone through that already with [Marqise] Lee and [Mike] Evans. So if there's a wide receiver there, I think it makes a ton of sense.
Secondly, the offensive tackle position, if all three of those top guys are gone, [Jake] Matthews, [Greg] Robinson and [Taylor] Lewan.
Then I go back to the Zack Martin conversation and the reason I like Zack Martin is because he can play all those positions and Baltimore has got a player that's playing guard for them now, an all pro guard that was projected to tackle and they have done pretty darned well with him.
I think he makes a lot of sense. I would be really surprised if [Eric] Ebron were still there, if he was, I would jump all over that and [Austin] Seferian Jenkins would make sense to me, also.
When you're sitting there at 16 in this year's draft, I really believe somebody it could be the third tackle, it could be the second wide receiver or the third wide receiver. There's going to be somebody that gets to them where you go, wow, it's a great football player.
Q. Could you give a breakdown of Troy Niklas and where he fits into this year's group of tight ends and also compared to recent Notre Dame prospects?
MAYOCK: Yeah, they have had quite a run of tight ends going back into the 70s and 80s. He's an interesting guy, first of all, because of his size. You're talking 6 6 and a half, 265, played outside linebacker, his freshman year, converted to tight end. Only had two years of college football at tight end.
The first year he had Tyler Eifert who had most of the attention while he was trying to learn the position. So effectively, you're looking at one year of production as far as catching the football, so I think what he is, if he commits to becoming a good in line blocker, he could be the best blocking tight end in the NFL in two or three years.
And if I was him, if I was his father or I was his coach, I would try to impress upon him that he should try to become the best blocker he can. He'll make a lot of money for a lot of years.
Secondly he's a better receiver than people think. He is not Tyler Eifert, he's not a 4 5 guy, but a 4 8 kind of guy, he can catch the ball short or intermediate, understands how to use his body to position it.
So I don't think he's getting out of the second round because I think there's a drop off after him. So I think he'll be a valuable commodity in the second round. I think he's in between Kyle Rudolph, I think he's a better blocker than Kyle, but not as good a receiver as Kyle, if that makes sense.
Q. Just wondering with the Giants at number 12, and I know you mentioned some of those offensive tackles going off the board, do you think offensive lines is the answer for them, and if so, which one do you think will be the best fit?
MAYOCK: Yeah, I think wide receiver and tackles make a lot of sense right there and I think regardless sitting at 12, you're either going to get the third tackle or the second or third wide out if you were interested in that wide out.
So I think Taylor Lewan is a guy that can get there and if he got there, I'd jump all over him. And if all three were gone, you could still make a case for Zack Martin. I think he's a better he's very similar to Justin Pugh who they took a year ago but I think he's a better prospect, and then I'd also be wide open to looking at that wide receiver position and again, looking at Marqise Lee, Mike Evans, I think sitting at 12, they are going to get one of those three guys, or could get one of those three.
Q. Michigan State, Darqueze Dennard, where do you think he's headed and are Bennie Fowler and Isaiah Lewis draftable prospects?
MAYOCK: Yeah, I think for me, Dennard, if he runs well, Dennard is a Top 15 pick. He's my favorite corner in the draft. I'd like to see him run well.
Max Bullough has really hurt himself a little bit. I thought his junior tape was pretty good. He was a solid player, understood the game. He put on some weight, didn't like the way he moved around I think Bullough is going to get drafted a little later, somewhere in that fifth round, plus or minus. He's a smart, tough kid but he just doesn't move, especially at 265 like he did at 245.
Lewis at safety is draftable, fifth, sixth, seventh round. He's a smart, tough kid and I think he's going to make his living if he does on special teams.
Fowler is a wide receiver that's also going to have to commit to special teams because he's either going to be late draftable for a priority free agent and he's going to make that team as kind of a fifth wide receiver and core special teams player.
Q. Last year at this time few analysts ranked EJ Manuel among the top and he wound up being the first quarterback taken. This year are the perceived Top 3, are they safely perched atop the pack and if not, which do you see most likely to rise up after the meetings?
MAYOCK: It's an interesting question, I think the Manuel kid, the more I looked at him last year, I said, if I'm going to make a mistake, why not make it on a big athletic kid with a big arm and I think that's certainly the way Buffalo looked at it.
I do think that [Teddy[ Bridgewater, [Johnny] Manziel and [Blake] Bortles are locked in as, quote, the three top quarterbacks. I think Derek Carr from Fresno is somebody that people are trying to learn more about, and there's some interesting wild cards this year, I think at request also.
I think AJ McCarron is solid but he's a second or third round quarterback. I think Carr will fit into the end of the first round. Jimmy Garoppolo has really helped himself at east west in the Senior Bowl and two kids got hurt later in the year, indiscernible from Georgia, I think depending on how their rehab goes could be third or fourth round guys that are developmental players.
And I mentioned earlier, Logan Thomas, two years ago when I saw him play Michigan in a Bowl game I thought he would be the first pick of the entire draft, two years later, and since then, he's got two or three good tapes and the rest are really bad tapes. But he's still 6 5, big, beautiful body, can throw the ball and the other kind of wild card I would say is Tom Savage that nobody talks about from University of Pittsburgh. He's a big, strong kid that can throw also.
Q. You touched on this with the Denver situation but if your team happens to be picking at the end of the first round like 32, it sounds like there is going to be talent because of the depth that you were talking about?
MAYOCK: I'm a big believer and obviously some positions are deeper than others, that's going to be true every year, however there are going to be a lot better choices depending on the position you're look for sitting at 32. I think Pete and John do a great job, they have a clear philosophy and they know what they are looking for and the two of them are joined at the hip.
Q. Could you explain your breakdown of the top defensive tackles?
MAYOCK: Yeah, it's mixed bag.
The defensive tackles are kind of a mixed bag, for instance, my top two guys, [Louis] Nix and [Timmy] Jernigan couldn't be different, Nix is a typical nose tackle and Jernigan is more of that three technique. I think Jernigan can step in and be special, early. I think I can Nix is a little different kind of player. He's a 330 pound nose.
Aaron Donald from Pitt has three technique, quick, up field penetrator, but I don't think he's going until late one, early two.
And I've talked about [Ra’Shede] Hageman as a little bit of a boom or a bust, talented guy, 6 6, 320, who could play anywhere up and down that defensive line, and then Dominique Easley in my Top 5 is injured, the second ACL and I don't think he's going to go until about the third round or so.
There are two LSU players that are second or third round guys and I think there's some pretty good depth in the first three rounds, and I think Jernigan is a guy that if he's sitting there when the Bears are on the board at 14, I think you'd sprint to the podium.
Q. Arthur Lynch of Georgia?
MAYOCK: When I look at him, I have him as my sixth tight end with a fourth-round grade. He's more of an in line guy with very average speed, pretty good blocker and will make a living in the NFL for a lot of years but he's not going to catch a 100 pass and he need to be a good solid blocker and needs to catch the ball in the short and intermediate zones.
Q. You mentioned a couple Washington players, and you said Bishop Sankey reminded you of Giovani Bernard but what do you see on film that makes him special and is Austin Seferian Jenkins a scheme specific player or is he somebody who can kind of succeed in multiple schemes in your opinion.
MAYOCK: I think Seferian Jenkins could play in any scheme. You can line them up inline and by the way, he should be a better blocker than he is given his size but he's athletic enough to block. I think he's tough enough to block.
In Washington he was split out so often, I don't think he developed as much as he could have as a blocker. Now he's also pretty darned good, 275 pound tight end, he'll split out and he can play in the slot. I was just impressed with his catching radius, his ability to use his body against defenders and his ability to twist in the air and catch the football. He's got great hands. I don't think it matters what the scheme is, and I have him as my second tight end, and I think he's a first round pick.
As far as Sankey is concerned, I kind of felt like he's a great combination of make you miss, and north and south production. He's tough but he can make you miss in the open field. He's got really good balance, quickness and instincts, and aggressive cut blocker and pass protection, but he's tough, the kid will finish bottom line for me is I just need to see him catch the ball more. I need to get comfortable with his hands and if so I think he's a second round pick and I really like his upside.
Q. You touched on Zach Mettenberger, but without the injury where do you think he would figure into the quarterback rankings this year and what do you see as his strengths?
MAYOCK: Without the injury, I still don't think he's going to be a first or second round pick. I think what he is and what worries me a little bit on tape is I think he stares down some of his intended receivers, I think the ball comes out late sometimes. He's not a guy that I think can start day one in the NFL anyway.
So if you ask me how much it would impact him, the injury, I don't think quite as much as you might think on the surface, because I do believe he's got a lot of learning to do. I like his size, I like his ability and I like his arm strength. It's more just a matter of his footwork, being more consistent with the ball, his feet being lined up, getting the ball out and some of the reads he makes. I think he just doesn't get the ball out quickly enough and I think that's something that a young quarterback has got to develop.
Q. Obviously watching the Super Bowl, we see the new breed of cornerback but I think everyone was very impressed by Thomas and Cam Chandler, they seem to be the golden standard in the NFL of free safety and the strong safety. I was wondering if the Seahawks performance in the Super Bowl will change the way safeties are scouted at the Combine?
MAYOCK: It's interesting, I think it's already begun to change. I think that teams are looking for and more for that free safety that can cover, that has more range, that can possibly drop down and cover a slot without having to go to a nickel.
I really like it's interesting. I used to think it had to be two safeties that were interchangeable, but what Seattle has really done is they have said, we are going to do our best to keep Earl Thomas deep because he's got great range and ball skills and then we are going to use a 330 pound Cam Chandler like a linebacker that has safety speed and be an enforcer.
They have got two distinct roles, and I think you're right, I think teams are trying to figure out what the best way to play the safety position is.
The thing I love about Seattle, is they define what they want, long corners, they have got the big safety, you can't get enough edge rush, sometimes they have four defensive ends at the game at the same time in pass rush situations. I think if you put the same on to Seattle, you're exactly right, there are going to be more and more teams around the league that are using that as a blueprint.
Q. What do you see for Mike Evans in the NFL?
MAYOCK: Because of his height/weight/speed ratio, he's got great hands; and I think the one thing he has to learn is he has to become a better route runner, because of his quarterback and the style of play at Texas A&M, most of his catches were verticals, back shoulder fades and wide receiver screens.
At the next level, that's great, and it can get him production early, but he's going to have to learn how to run routes. I think that's part of any young wide receiver, but specifically for a kid that has not learned a whole lot because he has not played a lot.
Q. I wanted to ask about the influx of underclassmen, speaking with people around the league, how has that impacted the scouting process and if it creates more risk for teams that are drafting underclassmen.
MAYOCK: It's interesting, I think there's a lot of mixed emotions around the NFL because I don't think the scouts and the coaches are in any way trying to push kids out of college.
And I think it's easier to evaluate a player that's been there for four or five years; he's more physically mature and hopefully he's more socially aware and secure. You get a more mature football player so it takes some of the variables out of play.
So I agree, I think a lot of teams think there is more risk out there associated with the evaluation process. However, especially in the first round, there are better football players out there the last few years. It's really helped the first round. The first round has become more and more dominated by underclassmen.
So I think it's a mixed bag. I think in a perfect world, you'd have less underclassmen coming out, but there's at this point nothing the NFL can do about it except try to evaluate these kids and do the best job they can.
Q. Question about trades, going back to what you said about the depth of this draft, that even a top 20 pick is like a Top 10 type of thing in your experience, when there's this kind of talent, are teams more apt to stay where they are knowing they can still get a good player, as opposed to a draft where there's maybe five or six guys you think are really worth it where everybody is trying to scramble around? Any sense of teams are really comfortable that this may be kind of a stagnant draft that way?
MAYOCK: You know, it kind of works both ways, because for instance, take Houston, sitting at 1. If there wasn't a quarterback that they are in love with, they might be, they contented to move down further than they typically would.
Both teams only want to move down a couple slots in the draft because they want to make certain they get their guy. In this draft you might be willing to move further down than usual because you still know you're going to get a great player.
On the one hand I agree with you, if you sit there at 18 or 20 you know you're going to get a good football player but on the other hand, if you need an edge rusher and there are only a couple guys this year, you really need to go get them. It all depends on your individual situation.
If you are sitting there and you think Kony Ealy is the best defensive end in this draft and [Jadeveon] Clowney is gone and you think there's a drop off after that you might want to go get him. So I think the philosophy of the trade stays the same, just a couple different variables this year with the depth.
Q. The No. 1 question in the Houston market is at quarterback, and I heard you say something about Johnny Manziel earlier and he does not like to be in a situation where he can't make a lot of moves in the pocket so I guess my first question to you is, what are your thoughts, what do you want to see from Manziel at the Combine, and two, I heard you also talk about trading down. Do you think the Texans should trade down; if they don't, who do you think they should take for the first pick?
MAYOCK: First of all, if there's a quarterback that they fall in love with and they say, he's our guy for the next ten years, you don't even think about trading down, you pull the trigger and you go to work with him and he's the face of your franchise. I don't think there's any doubt about that.
Now, if you're sitting at 1 in this draft and you've got questions, because none of these guys are Andrew Luck. None of these guys are Peyton Manning. None of these guys, you sit there and go, it's a slam dunk, this is an easy one.
So if you're concerned about all three of those quarterbacks, then I think it becomes, the next question is, okay, who is the best position player in this draft, how does that fit with our needs and if somebody wants to come and trade with us, we ought to be wide open for business. That's kind of a long way of saying, I don't know who their quarterback is right now, I don't think they do.
And if they took the Clowney kid and paired him with J.J. [Watt] that would be pretty awesome and it would start to kind of parallel what Seattle tried to do, which is getting talented pass rushers and getting after quarterbacks. And if they went after the wide receiver at No. 1, would it be surprising, yeah, but that kid is special.
So I think that they have got an awful lot of options, but the whole thing is determined by whether or not you think they are the franchise quarterback; it's what you want to do.
Q. Bruce Ellington, South Carolina, what thought about him?
MAYOCK: Yeah, another interesting player. He reminds me of a bigger Dave Sanders and I really like Dave Sanders. So I think that he's a kid that given the depth of this receiving class, probably a third or fourth round guy, but he's got some upside. I like him.
Q. I just wanted to ask you about Notre Dame guys, will you Louis Nix, where do you see him and Stephon Tuitt going?
MAYOCK: Yeah, they are really kind of lightning rods right now around the league.
Regarding Nix, some teams and general managers really like him. He's a prototypical nose tackle, big kid. He's got good short area quickness for a 330 pound guy but he had the knee last year, he flashed but didn't play at a high level all the time. He's got to be a little bit lighter. He's got to play at 330.
So the question is, can he push the edge a little bit; can he gain an edge and push the pocket, and if you believe in that, then he's probably a top 20 pick because he's a player 330 pound nose tackle with some movement skills. If you don't believe that, you can get some pass rush out of him, he probably isn't a top 20 pick for your team.
The Stephon Tuitt kid, there's opinions everywhere, again. Now, this kid had a groin issue coming off 2012. He was a little bit heavy. He's probably at this point, 6 6, 330 pounds, he's probably grown into a five technique which is the defensive end in a 3 4. Doesn't have as much value as a three technique or a 3 4 outside backer.
So without getting real technical, I think Stephon Tuitt, if he went somewhere between 25 and 50, it wouldn't surprise me.
Q. Two Utah State guys, Nevin Lawson and Tyler Larsen, what can they do this week to help themselves at the Combine?
MAYOCK: Yeah, Lawson is a quick footed kid, really has good change of direction skills. Looks to me like a natural nickel. I need to see how fast he is, like most corners. I don't know what he really learns. But I thought he was a little bit intriguing.
And with the offensive linemen, it's a little bit more difficult to say, what are you looking for at the Combine, but I think he's a guy that's got good feet. I've got him as kind of a mid to late draftable guy, fifth or sixth round, could even sneak into the fourth round but he's a smart, tough kid.
I'd just like to see some footwork when they do their drills. I don't really care about his 40. I don't care about some of those other things. I just want to see him move in some of the offensive line movement drills.
Q. I wanted to ask about Allen Hurns, what draft would you give him, what do you see from him?
MAYOCK: He had a break out year, caught 62 passes for over a thousand yards and came out of nowhere. I saw him at the east west game.
His issue from my perspective is that he's kind of got average size, he's kind of got average speed. I don't see him separating in man to man press coverage very easily. He's not overly big. He's not overly fast. So how does he fit in. He's got to be crafty; he's got to run great routes and he's got to catch everything.
So I want to see what he runs, I want to see how natural he catches the football and I think he's more a guy that is going to go later in the draft, kind of a fifth, sixth, seventh round guy.
Q. What do you think would be the ideal scenario for the Jaguars at No. 3 at this point in the process?
MAYOCK: At No. 3, at least control your destiny at least a little bit more than the other teams. And part of that question I think goes to, A, quarterback. So I'm a believer in Jedd Fisch, the offensive coordinator and one of the better young coaches. So if do they fall in love with one of those quarterbacks and is he available at three, that's the first question.
I think you can take [Luke] Joeckel at left tackle and I liked that kid last year as a potential right tackle. I think their second need after quarterback becomes an edge rusher, and again, at 3, depending on a quarterback situation, it's either their guy isn't there well, [Jadeveon] Clowney or [Khalil] Mack to me make a ton of sense.
So I think quarterback, edge, and then I don't know what's going to happen with Justin Blackman coming off suspension. At some point I think they have to deal with the wide receiver issues and then some offensive line depth, especially inside.
Q. Wondering on a macro level what your big picture view of the Eagles defense is, the next step and where they need to improve.
MAYOCK: Yeah, you know, my first comment about that Eagles defense is that I thought their defensive coordinator and their defensive staff did a phenomenal job last year because they had a group of guys that they just kind of signed off the streets as free agents, and that defense went from a very much a below average defense to a playoff defense by the end of the season, without a lot of talent. So I think Billy Davis and those guys did a great job.
Now when you go from there, now what. Well, Bennie Logan was a good pick last year. I think they are solid in that front three area. They have got to get another edge guy, Trent Cole had a heck of a year. He's a tough guy, getting a little bit older.
They need an edge guy at some point in this draft in my opinion, and then on the back end, you know, I think that's really the biggest need of this defense is they need people everywhere. I love [Brandon] Boykin, but I think he's best inside. They need a safety or two, they need a corner or two. So I think they have really got to concentrate on the back edge and back as an edge rush.
Q. Who are some of the mid round safeties that you like?
MAYOCK: Deone Bucannon from Washington State, probably a third round guy, [Terrence] Brooks from Florida State, third round, [Ed] Reynolds from Stanford third round, free safety. They are three guys I like. One of my favorite safeties in this draft is Jimmy Ward from Northern Illinois, but I'm not sure he's getting out of the second round.
Q. Are these guys to build your franchise around or to fit needs?
MAYOCK: That's a really good question and I felt like last year for the first time, the quarterbacks got evaluated based on where they should have gone. The Florida State [quarterback E.J. Manuel] went early to Buffalo and that was it in the first round. The kid from USC [Matt Barkley] went in the fourth round whereas in years past I bet he would have gone second or higher.
So I thought things stabilized a little bit last year. Now, here we go again, five teams in the top eight with significant quarterback needs. Are we going to push all three of these kids up there? And the more tape I watch of all three of them, the more questions I have.
And I don't want to overanalyze these guys, because there's a danger in that, also. But I just pick apart all three of them. I could not pick apart Andrew Luck. Obviously [Johnny] Manziel is a different kind of evaluation and you have to buy in and embrace what he does. I love the kid. I love watching him. I think you're going to have to teach him and he's got to be open and listening and learning. But he's a completely different evaluation and your team is going to have to change how they play and embrace his style.
[Teddy] Bridgewater and [Blake] Bortles I think can both be good quarterbacks but I'm not ready to say either of them is an all pro quarterback.
Q. On Virginia prospects.
MAYOCK: Yeah, the [Brent] Urban kid is interesting, I wanted to see more of him at Senior Bowl and he got hurt. But he's what a lot of people call a five technique that probably his best position is a defensive end in a 3 4 defense. I think he could go in the third round. He's a big, strong kid, he's stout and in addition to playing that five technique he could probably kick inside also. I like him and I think there's some significant upside to him.
Morgan Moses is a guy the more tape I watch, the more he grew on me. His Clemson tape, he had two or three plays he literally locked on a linebacker over the defensive end, and drove him into the sideline over the bench and looked like that movie where he took them across the gate. He's got some finish; he's got some toughness. His feet were better than I thought they were going to be. I think he's a starting right tackle in the NFL but because he's so big and so long, I think there's some teams that will give him a chance at left tackle.
I'm anxious to watch him work out this week, especially in the movement drills and he's a guy that depending if there's a run on tackles, and there's a run on tackle he could go later in the first round. Where I think he will go is between somewhere between 35 and 40.
Q. Are Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater better prospects than Russell Wilson was, or is it more the NFL's change in the thinking about quarterbacks?
MAYOCK: I think the NFL is more open than its ever been regarding quarterbacks and I think it's a whole new breed, not just Russell Wilson and his height but [Robert] Griffin, Cam Newton, all these athletic quarterbacks, [Colin] Kaepernick.
It's about making plays and I think we are getting more and more high school and college quarterbacks that operate expressly out of shotgun and spread the field and are playmakers.
As a result, I think the NFL is a reflection of that and up until a few years ago, they kept pushing back, no, we want the big, strong, prototypical pocket guy, nobody has ever won a Super Bowl outside the pocket. All those old sayings are kind of being beaten down.
I think that if you can prove that you can make plays and that you can stay healthy, I think that the height and the size and the style doesn't matter as much anymore. NFL teams and coaches are doing a much better job of utilizing the players’ strengths as opposed to saying you just have to do it our way.
Q. Who are the FCS and division two or lower players you like in this year area draft class if you were the GM of the Top 3 teams, the Texans, Rams and Jaguars, who would you be taking?
MAYOCK: I don't think they know who they are taking yet so I'm not so sure how I would know. The problem is there's just so much it's such a process and especially with the quarterback. If I'm the GM of Houston, I'm trying to get comfortable with one of these quarterbacks, I want to get comfortable with them. [Johnny] Manziel, I'm intrigued by him.
I think [Teddy] Bridgewater is the most ready to go but I need to make sure that guy is going to be my guy and if not, I'm going to take a positional player, because I know Mack can play, Clowney can play, Watkins with play.
So the Rams, I think they probably have to go offensive line unless they take Sammy Watkins, so Jake Matthews could be logical there and Jacksonville, the same thing at the quarterback position. Are you happy with the quarterback or do you go with an edge guy. Those are the questions, and I'm not trying to dodge your question, it's just I haven't gotten to the point where in my head, I've got Top 10.
Q. And as far as the FCS, anyone you really like?
MAYOCK: Dakota Dozier, he's my fifth offensive guard right now. I have him as a fourth round pick, played tackle there and I really, really liked him.
I think the kid from North Dakota State, Billy Turner, is probably a fourth round offensive lineman, saw him at Senior Bowl, really liked him. I think the tailback is really interesting, his production was off the charts, was really watching his tape. That's off the top of my head, three pretty solid ones right there.
Q. How do you think De’Anthony Thomas’ game translates to the NFL?
MAYOCK: I think Thomas because of his speed and play making ability in today's NFL is more valuable than he would have been six, eight, ten years ago. I think when you low in the fact that he's got four kickoff return touchdowns, he's a wild card.
And I think he probably goes somewhere in that fourth round area and I think that you have to have a plan in place for how you're going to use him. He's going to be a kickoff guy plus we have to get him ten touches a game and how do we find those touches, how do we manufacture eight to ten touches a game so this kid gets a chance to make plays for us like he did at Oregon, so I think that's some real value to him.
He's a gifted kid, you're probably talking about a first or second round talent, but whether or not he gets drafted is going to be part of the process going forward and I would guess because of the talent, there's going to be somebody on that third day and I'm not sure which round but there's going to be somebody on the third day that says, we are now at the risk reward part of the program where we are willing to invest a first round pick in the kid because he's a first round talent.
Q. I wanted to about with Wyoming guys.
MAYOCK: I think the wide receiver [Robert Herron] is interesting to me. He runs well. He's got good run after the catch. I kind of like the way he carried himself at Senior Bowl. I'm anxious to see what he runs. I've been told he's going to run fast. Right now I've got a fourth or fifth round great on him.
The quarterback I really wanted to see. I wish I could. I'm a big believer that you've got to see these guys in person. I've only seen one tape of him so far and I like him but I just don't know where he fits yet.
Q. If their favorite quarterback is off the board, how do you feel about Sammy Watkins and maybe a quarterback at 26 or 35, and having said that, does Derek Carr project as a long term starter worth taking?
MAYOCK: Oh, Watkins. Watkins would be awesome there. I think they can get a running back in a bunch of different places, given the number of picks the Browns have had year. I'm all in on that kid, he can really play, and regarding the quarterback, yeah, I think Carr would be an interesting guy at 26.
I do believe I didn't love his USC tape in the Bowl game at all but I do believe he's got the arm strength and athletic ability to be a starter in the NFL. I don't think he's a Pro Bowl type starter but he's a competent starter. You've got to ask yourself, at 26, are you getting significant improvement over what you think Brian Hoyer is, because if you're not, then you need to move on and get another positional player.
Q. Cyrus Kouandjio, he's slotted as your No. 5 tackle, is there anything that he can do to improve his position and maybe other Alabama guys that stick out to you?
MAYOCK: I like the [Ed] Stinson kid from Alabama. He might be a third or fourth rounder but I like him. Obviously they have got a ton of guys every year.
As far as Kouandjio when you come out as a junior and there's not much known about you, I think part of the process that's most important is after all the measurables are over with and then you start to sit down with offensive line coaches, and you get an opportunity to get a door closed and they are going to find out how much you know about the game, how quickly you can learn, are you a rep guy, what are you, and I think for him, those are all important questions.
They don't know as much about him. There was some inconsistencies in his game this year. He's a talented kid but he was up and down that last game against Oklahoma was a pretty bad game for the entire team, him included.
At the Combine, getting comfortable with him and his intelligence and what kind of kid he is, I think they are all really important things going forward.
Q. And the Steelers at number 15?
MAYOCK: If you're going to live at 3 4 which they do, the nose tackle position is pretty important. They like McClendon. He's a pretty interesting guy. The only guy that's even worth looking at that early would be Louis Nix and you have to buy into the fact that you're going to get a significant number of snaps from him and I'm not sure you can, I mean the kid in the city played for a nose tackle which is unheard of.
As far as the nose tackle, Kyle Fuller makes a lot of sense for what they do and how they do it. He plays a lot like the kid they lost to New Orleans as a free agent. Fuller makes a lot of sense, and you would have to buy into Nix at 15 if you were going to go there but fuller I like and Jason Verrett is a second round corner and a nickel, I like him, also.
Q. On the Washington Redskins.
MAYOCK: That's a tough one sitting at 34 or 35 and you have no idea who is off the board. You're right, I know Jay [Gruden] really well and Jay loves to throw the football, but from a Washington perspective, you've got Pierre [Garcon] and beyond that, you know, [Aldrick] Robinson, is he going to develop if you're looking at I think at 35, wide receiver kind of matches up with who Jay wants to be and Jay wants three, four, five quality wide outs, and he wants to push the ball down the field. He sits there early in the second round and who is going to be there, [Jarvis] Landry? I would sprint for the podium if I could get Landry at 35. [Odell] Beckham, Adams, Brandin Cooks from Oregon State, there are really good football players and wide receivers who can contribute immediately.
Q. On cornerbacks.
MAYOCK: The top of the draft for me, [Darqueze] Dennard can step in from day one, and I say that because he's a prep corner who can he can tackle, he competes. I don't think he'll be overwhelmed.
Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State, return kicks, big play guy. I think those two guys step right in without a problem and I think the [Jason] Verrett kid steps in day one as a slot excuse me, as a nickel playing again for the slot. I think he can go three, four rounds deep and find different kind of kids that can compete early.
I mentioned the kid from Utah, [Keith] McGill who is 6 3 and the kid from Nebraska [Stanley Jean-Baptiste] who is 6 2 and a half. There are a bunch of long corners out there and that's kind of the flavor of the day.
Q. I noticed Brandin Cooks isn't in your Top 5 on this draft board and I was wondering what kind of is keeping him out of there? Is it the depth of the receivers in this year's class?
MAYOCK: The defensive end [Taylor Hart] in the Senior Bowl is a pretty good player, forget his name right now. I think he's the kind of guy that's about a fifth round pick. He's solid, he made some plays, he started over 30 games at Oregon and he's good on tape.
Regarding Brandin Cooks, the only reason he's not in my Top 5 is because it's such a deep wide receiver class. He's a heck of a football player and I have him as my eighth grade receiver, second round grade and if he went at the end of round one, wouldn't surprise me at all. He can play inside at slot. He is tremendous at making people miss, tremendous run and catch. He's a guy I really like.
Q. I wanted to follow up on your remarks on Louis Nix, you saw him play last year, when you were talking about his inconsistency, if you think that's something related to being physically compromised or if you think it's a motor issue.
MAYOCK: Well I think gained weight this year and one of the keys for Louis is keeping the weight off. When you put all the composites of Louis Nix together, when he's healthy, when he's in shape and when he plays with leverage and doesn't stand up, when you put all that together, he's a top 20 pick.
When you start saying, he wasn't healthy and he because the knee was hurt, he wasn't in good shape, so there are teams out there that really like him and there are teams out there that say, no, I don't see it.
So you know, the good thing for Louis is it only takes one, and I think teams are going to look real hard at him, what kind of kid are we getting, what kind of work ethic are we getting, so he is a good kid and he is going to check out.
Q. Can you speak a little if you have anything more to say about Ra’Shede Hageman and also any other Minnesota players that might be possible draft picks or looked at?
MAYOCK: The [Brock] Vereen kid, and I think I have a priority grade free agent on him and I think he's got a chance, especially with special teams.
The Hageman kid is really interesting and especially given his background and where he's coming from and what he's had to go through in life, and I think the hard part is putting the tape on in one game, you see a kid that can go as a Top 15 pick and then you put the next tape on, and then he disappears for three quarters and that's a fifth or sixth round pick and you have to rectify the whole thing if he blows up the Combine; who are we getting.
That's the important thing is trying to understand the kid, because the talent is certainly there.
(to be continued...)
|02-19-2014, 02:38 PM||#3|
Black for Palestine
Join Date: Oct 2006
Casino cash: $33532
Q. On Jeff Janis.
MAYOCK: Janis, I've got a fifth grade on. Good speed. Just have to learn to run routes a little bit, create separation with that speed. Who else was it?
Q. Allen Robinson and William Snead, Ball State?
MAYOCK: Yeah, I've not done Willie Snead. I know his dad is a coach and a great guy. I need to get on his tape. And Allen Robinson I've got a late second round grade on, got a good height/weight speed combination. Such a deep wide receiver class, most years his grade would be higher.
Q. I'm curious about C.J. Fiedorowicz. Seemed to have a good Senior Bowl outing out in Mobile. What does he need to do at the combine to help his draft, where do you put him at this point?
MAYOCK: He's got to run and catch. Right now you look at him he had a good Senior Bowl week. And he did catch the ball pretty well at Iowa, made a couple good red zone catches this year using that big body of his.
And I'm curious what he's going to run. Can he run 4.7 or 4.75 or is he going to be a 4.85 guy? And, secondly, I just want to see him catch everything.
I know he's got good hands. I just want to see the hands. I don't want the ball to get in the body. I want him to catch everything away from his body and run that 40 well. And I don't have a grade on him.
Q. You were talking about Jeremy Hill from LSU. Is there anything he needs to improve on the field to get the best possible spot for himself, or is it mostly just having to quiet doubts about any questions that may linger about his off field, his off field issues?
MAYOCK: Yeah, I think the off field stuff takes priority here. I think I know what he is on the field. I think he's going to look good at the combine. Will run well. For his size, he's got really good feet for his size.
The bigger thing for this kid is going to be able to look teams in the eye, explain what he did, why he did it, and whether or not he's a different kind of guy. You have to buy into the kid and that's the whole key.
The higher the draft pick, the more you have to buy into the kid. He's certainly a risk/reward guy.
Q. You said running backs have fallen because of the league's trending toward becoming a passing league. I assume that also applies to Jeremy Hill?
MAYOCK: I've got a second round grade on him as far as just on the field. If he was clean off the field, I'd take him in the second round in a heartbeat. But he's not clean off the field. I think every team will value him differently, but I think he's going to get dinged or I think with a second round on the field grade, he'll be fortunate to go in the third or fourth.
Q. Curious, given all the work you do in the fall, how late in the process you start really diving into tape and your process of evaluating players, how much do you balance watching tape yourself versus bouncing ideas off scouts and things like that?
MAYOCK: The last couple of years, because of Thursday night football, I've only got through a few players in July and August; the list comes out and I get a chance to look at some of the top rising seniors. So the predominance of my work has started the last couple of years when Thursday night football ended in December.
So I've gotten a late start. 80 percent of what maybe 70 to 80 percent of what I do is me watching tape and me forming an opinion. I do bounce my opinions off most of the teams in the league. And what I really want to know is if a team thinks I'm way off and why.
For the most part, I've learned that if someone makes a mistake, I'd rather it be my own.
Q. Wonder what your evaluations are on Xavier Grimble and Tim Cornett?
MAYOCK: I heard Grimble, tight end from USC. And he's a big, strong kid with some athletic ability. And I've got a fifth round grade on him.
Q. Curious what your thoughts are about a couple of Florida State guys that came out early, James Wilder and Malachi Freeman, and also Christian Jones moving from line backer to rush end for his senior year, if that helps his draft stock at all?
MAYOCK: I think Freeman is really interesting. First, acceleration. Tough kid. Make you miss, but still gets north and south. Third round grade on him.
Wilder, a lot less touches, less of a feel for him but a big, strong guy. Has surprisingly nimble feet for his size. Obviously a good pedigree. I think he'll go in the fourth or fifth round. And then as far as the linebacker, stuck his hand in the dirt this year, I do believe it helped him.
Today's NFL, anytime you can show some edge rush ability, it's going to push you up a little higher in the draft. And I think his versatility will be a plus.
Q. You could get an energy drink commercial out of this one. Wanted to ask you, you briefly mentioned Jimmy Garoppolo's name from Eastern Illinois, wanted to get an assessment of his skills and draft values and a team pulling a trigger on an FCS player or a small school player?
MMAYOCK: I like Garoppolo a lot. I was curious to watch him play at the East West game because I had seen some tape. The first tape I watched he ripped apart I want to say San Diego State, I think it was. I thought, wow, quick release, good feet, big, strong, good looking kid.
When I got to the East West game, I was anxious to watch him. What I saw on tape I saw that week and the following week at the Senior Bowl.
So I thought he handled himself well and I thought he helped himself as much as any kid in the country did through the two week period of the East West Senior Bowl, went from a mid to late round question mark to a guy that could conceivably go in the second or third round. Teams are looking at potentially a starting quarterback.
Q. I know you talked about Darqueze Dennard and Max Bullough, how high could you see Dennard pulling in the draft and what 40 number do you think he needs to run to hold that number one spot in your book. And with Bullough, how much did the suspension hurt him, and does he project as a Mike linebacker?
MAYOCK: Yes, he projects as a Mike linebacker. The suspension hurt, a little bit, I think. I think it was more the tape wasn't real good this year, and I want to like the kid. He's strong. He's tough. He cares about the game. But I didn't see the quickness I didn't see the ability to get to the hole and make a play like I did in prior years.
I don't know if he's too heavy. He showed up in the East West game about 265. And today's NFL you gotta run. So I think today's NFL is working against him a little bit. If I was him, I'd get as light as I could and show up and run my tail off at the combine.
As far as Dennard, how early could he go? If he runs 4.4 would Detroit pull the trigger at 10, maybe.
But from my perspective, I think both corners are going to go between, worst case, an 11 and 20, being Justin Gilbert. They're kind of different flavors. Gilbert's a different kind of guy. Darqueze Dennard, if he runs 4.4, 4.2, anywhere in the 4.45, under 4.5 range, he'll be fine. If he runs 4.58 or 4.55, there's going to be questions.
Q. Did you see film on Denicos Allen, he was their leading tackler? A little undersized outside linebacker.
MAYOCK: Yes, he can run, and he'll get a shot in today's NFL because of the speed. He flashes all over the place. He actually looks more like a safety than a linebacker.
And like a lot of those guys that are later round or priority free agents, they're going to have to make a living on special teams and earn their way on to the squad. But he flashes. He's so darn fast, he flashes.
Q. You talked a little bit about Bishop Sankey and Carlos Hyde. What about Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey, how do you assess him, when and where do you think he'll be picked up?
MAYOCK: I've got him as my sixth ranked running back with a third round grade. I think he's had excellent production. He's a tougher kid than I thought he was. He's got good feet. He comes downhill. And he's a guy who can make you miss.
So I love the toughness. So I gave him a third round grade and I think he fits right in the group with Tre Mason and he, and maybe [Lache] Seastrunk from Baylor. And I think the team that gets him is going to get a back that can either be a three down type of guy or change of pace guy. But I really do like Carey.
Q. To follow that up. You said he's a tougher back than you originally thought. What made you come to that realization?
MAYOCK: Just watching the tape. I'd only seen him on television before. And my perception was more like, okay, probably not a big back, maybe a quick make you miss guy and you put the tape on, you watch him drop his pad level and run over linebackers and make some efforts in the pass protection game and you go, okay, this guy's pretty good.
Q. I wanted to ask you about a couple of Northern Illinois prospects. You mentioned Jimmie Ward. What does he need to do this weekend to improve his stock, where do you see him going, and do you think Jordan Lynch will get a shot at quarterback?
MAYOCK: Jimmie Ward has done a great job, A, in his career. And, then, B at the Senior Bowl. I think the only negative on him is that teams worry about his durability. But the kid never misses a game anyway. Just the size that worries the teams.
I think he's a great football player and I think he's going in the second round. As far as Jordan Lynch is concerned, he's another kid I root for, because I think he had so much pressure on him at the East West game, trying to show people he could throw the ball and all that kind of stuff. I think that kid's a winner. I think he's a tough kid.
I think he should be given an opportunity to show he can play quarterback in the NFL. And if he can't, I like his attitude. His attitude is, hey, give me a shot at quarterback, and if I prove I can't do it then I'll run down on kickoff or I'll play safety or I'll play tailback whatever and I really like that.
I think the kid is a competitor, met him last summer at the Manning Academy. I thought he threw the football at the Manning Academy much better than I expected and I hope he gets a shot at quarterback.
Q. Mike, quick question about some Texas Tech guys. Jace Amaro, you said you had him going to the Patriots. Is there anything he can do to maybe move up the board a little bit. And I don't know if you had a chance to look at Kerry Hyder, the defensive tackle, what you thought of him and his ability?
MAYOCK: I've not done the defensive tackle guys yet. He's on my list. I didn't have Amaro going to the Patriots. I just answered a question about would he make sense there, which I think he would.
But what he needs to do is in today's NFL, you know, at 250, 260 pounds, if you can run 4.5 and catch the football, then you're probably a first round pick.
And I think that's what he needs to do. He's played that inside slot position at Tech and he's shown an ability and a lot of production. But I think if he does it at the combine, if he runs 4.5 and catches the football, he's going to get a little bit of momentum going heading into the draft.
|02-19-2014, 02:50 PM||#4|
Spiraling down the Drain
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Dante's Ninth Circle
Casino cash: $20693
Talk about comprehensive
"We're both part of the same hypocrisy, Senator, but never think it applies to my family."
2014 Adopt a Chief - Travis Kelce #87
|02-19-2014, 03:58 PM||#6|
Black for Palestine
Join Date: Oct 2006
Casino cash: $33532
Think of a player you're curious about, and conduct a search for it. Chances are he discussed the guy.
|02-19-2014, 05:17 PM||#8|
It's All Good
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Parts Unknown
Casino cash: $10233
He said he can't see KC paying two edge rushers top money for an extended period of time. (ie the Hali/Houston situation is one to be watched) Also, free safety is their biggest need.
Last edited by Sfeihc; 02-19-2014 at 05:32 PM..
|02-19-2014, 07:32 PM||#9|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Casino cash: $5045
"Regarding Brandin Cooks, the only reason he's not in my Top 5 is because it's such a deep wide receiver class. He's a heck of a football player and I have him as my eighth grade receiver, second round grade and if he went at the end of round one, wouldn't surprise me at all. He can play inside at slot. He is tremendous at making people miss, tremendous run and catch. He's a guy I really like."
|02-20-2014, 08:17 AM||#12|
Join Date: Sep 2011
Casino cash: $21574
Slightly condensed version.
Perhaps we can fly. All of us. How will we ever know unless we leap from some tall tower? No man ever truly knows what he can do unless he dares to leap.
Last edited by Sorter; 02-20-2014 at 08:22 AM..
|02-20-2014, 09:18 AM||#13|
Join Date: May 2013
Casino cash: $34278
Yes, very cool stuff... much of it, I agree with. I still stubbornly hold on to my doubts about Manziel though... I expect him to go early, but don't really feel that he should. I also think far more of Mettenberger than Mike does, apparently..
|02-20-2014, 10:01 AM||#14|
Join Date: Mar 2009
Casino cash: $15426
More and more I think we go passrusher. Pretty obvious we need to draft another behind Hali. Houston, has best years in front and need to work out longterm deal. Hali, is still a beast, but an aging beast with a big cap. His replacement will be needing to come into his own by next season.
|02-20-2014, 10:05 AM||#15|
Join Date: Mar 2009
Casino cash: $15426
Also wouldn't be surprised to see chiefs draft a RB, not just to spell charles, but with good hands they could split out wide