NFL Network’s Mike Mayock shared his insights on the top NFL draft prospects and team drafting strategy during a conference call Monday. The highly respected draft analyst covered essentially everything in regards to 2013 NFL Draft prospects/positions.
Below are a few highlights from the conference call:
Mike Mayock opened the call with a statement saying, “there aren’t many difference makers on the top of the draft, but the depth is great.” “Because of all the juniors, we have some of the better depth in 10 years.”
- Mike Mayock doesn’t like the top tier talent, or lack thereof, in this draft. Teams may try trading back to stock up on 3rd and 4th round picks, which could be the money round. But, of course, it takes two to tango and many teams may not want to move up in the draft.
Mike Mayock - USC QB Matt Barkley and West Virginia QB Geno Smith value is around picks 20-32.
- The great need of a quarterback could push these guys a little higher than their value dictates. Mayock said he wouldn’t “bang the table” for any of the QB prospects.
Mike Mayock - Alabama guard Chance Warmack was the best football player I’ve seen on tape this year. I’m higher on interior lineman than skill position players.
- Mike Mayock says he would argue that the Chiefs should take Warmack with the number one overall pick.
Mike Mayock - This is one of the best safety classes I’ve seen in years.
- Great news for the teams like the Redskins, Eagles and Saints.
Mike Mayock - The Philadelphia Eagles should go interior linemen with the fourth overall pick as opposed to Alabama DB Dee Milliner. He can’t see them going QB.
- The Eagles will presumably switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme. They need “bigs” up front on both the offensive and defensive line.
Mike Mayock – I wouldn’t want a top 10 pick in this draft.
- Again, the top tier talent isn’t great. And as Mayock said, you want All-Pro players when picking in the top 10.
Mike Mayock - Doesn’t like Cal WR Keenan Allen early and does not think he’s a 4.4 forty guy. If you like Allen on tape — he’s Anquan Boldin.
- There are only two first round receivers in Mayock’s mind, as of right now. Allen and Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson.
Mike Mayock - South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore is “way ahead of schedule.”
- Given his health, Mayock thinks Lattimore’s value is in the 3rd round.
Mike Mayock - “I couldn’t take my eyes off of DB Darius Slay when watching Mississippi State’s Jonathan Banks.”
- Slay is a NFL Combine invite and an under the radar player. This could be a guy worth keeping an eye on. Interesting nugget there.
Mike Mayock – Jonathan Cyprien from Florida International is a guy Mayock loves for the Washington Redskins.
- Of course, Washington doesn’t pick until the 2nd round, but if Cyprien fell to them it would be a perfect fit. Mayock likes him at Free Safety, but believes he can play both spots. Also mentioned a few cornerbacks: California’s Marc Anthony, William and Mary BW Webb, UConn’s Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Southern Louisiana’s Robert Alford as possibilities for the Redskins.
Mike Mayock - Tavon Austin is more of a Wes Welker type than Percy Harvin.
- Mayock likes Austin but doesn’t like the comparisons to Percy Harvin.
Mike Mayock - Loves Florida’s DT Sharrif Floyd.
- Considers him a top 5 pick.
Mike Mayock – Loves Clemson’s Andre Ellington.
- Considers Ellington the best 3rd down pass blocking back in the draft.
Mike Mayock – Considers Texas Safety Kenny Vaccaro a top 15 pick. Calls his ability to cover slot receivers “rare.”
- Mayock thinks a perfect fit for Vaccaro would be with the Bengals.
Mike Mayock - Georgia’s Jarvis Jones is an “impact — explosive player” if healthy.
- Likes Jones for the Lions at five overall. Has to checkout medically.
Mike Mayock - Doesn’t like Bama DB Dee Milliner as a top 10 pick. Believes his value is around 20, but could get pushed up if he runs well at the draft.
- Eagles at four overall could go this direction, although Mayock doesn’t think they should.
Mike Mayock - Considers Alabama DT Jesse Williams a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
- He also considers Bama Safety Robert Lester a “third day” pick.
Mike Mayock - “When talking mobile QBs, you have to start with – can this guy be a starter from the pocket.”
- Everyone will want the next RG3, Russell Wilson or Kaepernick… But it starts with their ability to pass from within the pocket.
Mike Mayock - “You can get quality at the RB position in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th round.”
- Mentioned Alfred Morris as a guy a lot of scouts were wrong on. They downgraded him based on awareness and his small school. Worked out for Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins.
Mike Mayock - Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib could be the Kirk Cousins or Andy Dalton of this draft.
- A team could get great value with Nassib.
Mike Mayock - Likes Georgia Safety Baccari Rambo.
- Mayock considers Rambo a 3rd round pick.
Mike Mayock - “The safety class is outstanding” as for the corners, no one knows who the next guy is after Milliner. Could clear up this weekend.
- The combine could clear things for the receivers and defensive backs. Mayock believes the combine is most useful for defensive backs because all the drills are “football related.”
Mike Mayock – LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu is “the real wildcard this week.”
- He’s a better football player than athlete, so says Mayock. Could be penciled in as a returner and nickel guy in the NFL.
Mike Mayock – “Look people in the eye, tell them your story and let your tape talk” on Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o.
- Mayock says if Te’o makes it to the Ravens at 32 overall they would run to the podium. Still considers him a first round guy.
Mike Mayock - Likes Oregon’s Kenjon Barner. “Explosive — not a good blocker.”
- Considers him a third round guy.
Mike Mayock - Likes Oklahoma’s Tony Jefferson, but doesn’t like the tackles he misses.
- Considers him a mid to late 3rd round guy — can play both free and strong safety.
Mike Mayock – Likes Notre Dame’s Theo Riddick.
- Mayock considers him a 3rd to 4th round guy. Would be a running back/slot receiver.
Mike Mayock – Baylor’s WR Terrance Williams is intriguing.
- Has the height, weight and speed teams covet.
Mike Mayock – Seemed to have a high level of intrigue in Michigan’s Denard Robinson. “What I know is he’s a quick kid and he’s a tough kid.”
- Mayock is challenging Robinson to catch everything at the combine. That’s the true question as he transitions from QB — no one knows if he has soft hands. Considers him a slot receiver.
NFL Network’s live coverage of the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine on-field workouts begins Saturday, February 23 with the offensive linemen, tight ends and kickers. It will continue with the running backs,quarterbacks and wide receivers on Sunday, February 24. Linebackers and defensive linemen on Monday, February 25 and defensive backs on Tuesday, February 26. Coverage of workouts begins each day at 9:00 AM ET.
On Thursday, February 21 and Friday, February 22 at 2:30 PM ET, NFL Network provides coverage of the Path to the Draft: 2013 NFL Scouting Combine Press Conferences.