Mayock on Baylor QB Robert Griffin, III: One of the most gifted kids in the last several years. … Maybe the most exciting young player in this year’s draft.
Z-Report Says: Hard to knock much from his Senior year. After an injury earlier in his career, he became a smarter pocket QB. Deep ball accuracy and touch is outstanding while overall character and intelligence are huge plusses. Willingness to continue looking for targets down the field after breaking contain is the same thing that made Cam Newton successful as a rookie.
Mayock on Alabama RB Trent Richardson: I think the last guy where you banged the table this hard was Peterson when he was the 7th pick. Tremendous feet for his size. Really good balance & vision. This kid is tough and he’s a 3-down back.
Z-Report Says: Hard not to love Richardson. What gives him such great value is that he can play from everywhere on the field. He catches passes, he gets tough yards, he can break plays on the perimeter and he’s the most physical back in this draft. With all that said, through no fault of his own, he could slide a little bit in the draft based on how few teams are making RB a priority this year.
Mayock on Wisconsin C Peter Konz & OG Kevin Zeitler: both “late one to mid two” round picks. Interior offensive line is strength of draft class.
Z-Report Says: Konz is easily the best center in this draft, but it is still unclear if someone will pull the trigger on him in the first. Zeitler struggled with his pass protection in the Senior Bowl, but his ability to run block will lock him into the second round.
Mayock on Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill: Big strong athlete with a really good arm. … Lacks anticipation & too often throws into coverage. Tannehill should be a first-round guy. Decision-making issues are fixable, perhaps with more experience.
Z-Report Says: I don’t see Tannehill as a first round talent, but that is generally the case with most QBs these days. All that matters to teams is if you have the physical traits and possibly the “makeup” of a first round QB. Tannehill certainly wasn’t helped by Jeff Fuller’s drops and relative lack of production and the Aggies defense put Tannehill in positions to keep scoring far too often. Tannehill has the feet that would lead you to believe he would be good in a play-action based offense but he was somewhat inconsistent outside of the pocket with his accuracy.
Mayock on South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery: Does not separate. What those guys run is important. He needs to run somewhere in those mid 4.5s. Big and fast is good. Big and slow is bad. Bottom line is … he has got to run well.
Z-Report Says: It’s hard, as a fan, not to see some of the highlight reel plays that Jeffery has made in one-on-one situations and not get excited. The problem is that the CBs in the pros are bigger and stronger and have better ball skills than those in college. To succeed, Jeffery has got to be able to get separation and create room to operate. There isn’t a WR in the league who can excel if he can’t get open and that is what Jeffery has to prove to teams – that he can get open with his quickness. Jeffery is big and makes plays, but I just don’t think he’ll have the speed or the “football character” that will allow a team to take him in the first round.
Mayock on the top WRs in the draft: Four wide receivers should be drafted in the 1st round: Blackmon, Kendall Wright, Michael Floyd, Rueben Randle, but not Alshon Jeffery or Mohamed Sanu.
Z-Report Says: Not really a surprise on this front. As I said in my mock draft, teams view Rueben Randle as a potential #1 WR and love his size/speed. While he wasn’t as productive as the other potential first rounders, teams realize he had QB issues at LSU he had to deal with as well as an extremely conservative attack compared to the other three wide receivers.
Mayock on Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd: Cleaned himself up on and off the field. Exceptional (senior) year. He needs to run well.
Z-Report Says: I love Floyd’s body control and ability to scrap for the ball in mid-air. He uses his size to his advantage and is a vertical threat despite not having great speed. If Floyd runs in the high 4.5 to 4.6 range, it won’t kill his draft stock, but it will knock him back towards the back-end of the first or to the early second.
Mayock on Mohamed Sanu: Not sudden, doesn’t have great acceleration. Like Alshon Jeffery, Sanu does not create separation.
Z-Report Says: This is similar to what I was saying last weekend, but I do think Sanu’s top-end speed will be better than Mayock expects. The problem I have with Sanu is that it looks like it takes him a little while to get to top speed, but I think he will run okay at the combine. Sanu is a high-character player with winning traits, but he needs more polish as a WR and he’ll have to prove that he can get separation in the intermediate areas.
Mayock on Virginia Tech RB David Wilson: There’s some people who think he could be a 1st-round pick. Really quick, great feet and balance. He’s a downhill, one-cut back with highly impressive feet. I’ve got him as a second-round guy.
Z-Report Says: Very decisive runner who keeps moving ahead. I completely agree on the one-cut assessment, but I don’t think Wilson is limited to that type of scheme like Lamar Miller from Miami might be. Good build in his lower body helps with balance and power.
Mayock on USC LT Matt Kalil: “Wonderfully gifted. Great feet, long arms, fits athleticism bill for an All-Pro left tackle.” Lacks “core strength.”
Z-Report Says: To me, Kalil is definitely the 2nd best prospect int his draft based on ability, high ceiling and high floor. He runs with the fluid hips of a big tight end which allows him to get to the second and third levels with ease. While Mayock thinks he lacks core strength, I believe he has enough to still be elite and I really like his punch.
Mayock on Stanford OT Jonathan Martin: “Gifted athletically. Needs to get a little bit stronger but will protect the quarterback.”
Z-Report Says: Martin looked really good at times, but then got it handed to him by USC DE Nick Perry during their matchup. While Martin has some of the attributes you like from a left tackle, I’m still a little bit concerned about his usage of hands and ability to matchup against plus athletes at that position. I think Martin shouldn’t go until the late teens to early 20′s but I know he’ll go much earlier than that.
Mayock on Ohio State LT Mike Adams: Helped himself at the Senior Bowl. Most people had 2nd-round grades on him but he’s moving up.
Z-Report Says: Adams moves his feet really well during his pass sets, but that foot movement doesn’t always correspond with protection off the edge that you want. When Adams gets his hands on pass rushers, they usually get shut down, but he needs coaching and needs to make sure that he can handle re-direct against inside moves.
Mayock on Illinois Defensive End Whitney Mercilus: Fairly gifted kid. Some natural pass-rush ability. Little bit of a 1-yr wonder. Not stout at point of attack.
Z-Report Says: Can rush with hand on the ground or standing up. Great burst off the ball, but is a finesse player right now. Looks like he can add 10 more pounds of muscle to his frame. Still learning the position.
Mayock on Boston College LB Luke Kuechly: Best inside linebacker in draft by far. More production than you can ever imagine. Better athlete than ppl think.
Z-Report Says: I’m on an island on this one. Everyone else around the NFL who I’ve spoken with all say the same thing about Kuechly – outstanding instincts and very good LB prospect. I will fully admit that he diagnosis exceptionally quickly and has very good quickness to the ball, but I don’t like the way he struggles with offensive linemen who get up on him on the second level. Kuechly gets bounced around a little more than I like from my inside linebackers and I think a 2-gap system that allows him to run free is easily his best fit.
Mayock on Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict: I’m not a fan at all. I just watched a bunch of his tape the other day. I came away unimpressed. Instincts aren’t good, gets enveloped by big bodies, runs around blocks. I don’t see first round at all.
Z-Report Says: No prayer of Burfict being a first rounder. His tape wasn’t nearly as good this year, but I like how physical he is from sideline to sideline and his willingness to take on blockers at times. Burfict loses his cool easily and if he goes to the wrong team with very little leadership, he could be out of the league quickly despite his potential.
Mayock on LSU DT Michael Brockers: Potential top-10 pick. He’s a really explosive 6’5/300 defensive tackle. Concern is he’s a 1-year guy.
Z-Report Says: Brockers is explosive of the snap but more like a physical player more than a penetrator which is why some scouts see him as a 5-technique in a 3-4. Brockers is very raw right now and there is a school of thought that he is only scratching the surface. LSU uses a heavy defensive line rotation and Brockers isn’t always in on pass rushing situations so some teams will worry about his ability to get after the QB.
Mayock on North Carolina DE Quinton Coples: I’m not a fan. I’d be scared to death because he did not play well or hard as a senior.
Z-Report Says: While it is not unusual, for whatever reason, for North Carolina football players to get labeled as lackadaisical, it is troubling that Coples was better his Junior year than his Senior year. Still, I see a player with NFL-caliber athleticism and edge traits who can become a very good player if the switch is flipped for him. The ceiling is high for Coples, but the question becomes, “how low is the floor”?
Mayock says Memphis NT Dontari Poe: Poe has Haloti Ngata upside. He’s that big & has that kind of movement skills. But he’s so raw it’s scary.
Z-Report Says: I’m liking Poe more and more based on his scheme flexibility. He is a beast in the weight room and will test exceptionally well in that department at combine. Has size that make him a great fit at the nose, but he also fits as a 3-4 DE for teams like the Packers who prefer wide bodies with good feet. Poe’s potential for growth will help his stock. If teams believe he has to come out on 3rd downs, it will hurt it.