During a conference call Wednesday, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock discussed numerous draft prospects. Here are his thumbnail views on some of the offensive players and other thoughts about that side of the football:
On the quarterbacks:
Robert Griffin III: Youre bringing up one of the more gifted kids in the draft. The more tape I put in, the more fun I have watching him. The bottom line is, hes a playmaker and this is what this league is all about, especially at that position. I love everything about the kid. The question I have, he doesnt throw with anticipation, mostly because he didnt have to. He has great touch and accuracy, middle and deep down the field. Hes tough and he takes hits. He initially looks to get the football down the field, and I like that.
Ryan Tannehill: After last year, we had Christian Ponder and Jake Locker go in the first 12 picks and I think we were all surprised and the same thing could happen this year with Tannehill. Hes got everything you want size, arm strength and hes a really good athlete. All you have to do is look at his tape as a receiver. What I dont like him is that he waits for routes to develop he lacks anticipation, and, because of that, he throws late into coverage and makes mistakes. But thats not atypical of a lot of college quarterbacks. I think hes going to be a first-round guy.
Brandon Weeden: I like him. Hes really accurate when he sets his feet. Hes a timing and rhythmic guy. He has to be on time, in a good rhythm, and when that happens, hes really, really good. But when he has to hasten the process and reset his feet, he loses some of that great accuracy and hes not nifty in the pocket. To me, thats a guy you have to develop a little bit. But hes 28 years old. Do you have time to wait? Thats the problem here. Im of the opinion, having gotten to know him and watch him work, if hes a guy you had to throw him there this year, he could play.
Russell Wilson: I was intrigued by both Russell Wilson and Kellen Moore. They dont look, smell or taste what those first-round quarterbacks are supposed to be. Im anxious to watch the process develop with Wilson as we get closer to April. I would love him as a back-up because I think hes smart, hes instinctive and if your starter got hurt, he could get you through four-five games.
The non-quarterback prospects:
Alabama RB Trent Richardson, when asked if he could be an immediate 1,200-yard back: I believe he is, and I dont say that often. The last guy you banged the table this hard was Adrian Peterson. I think his height, weight, speed, toughness all of them constitute the high pick.
Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon, whom Mayock doesnt expect to get past Jacksonville at No. 7: I dont think hell run a great 40 4.5, 4.52 seconds. Youll have to say thats OK because hes big, physical, tremendous body control and tremendous ball skills.
Virginia Tech RB David Wilson: Hes interesting, and there are some people who think he could be a first-round pick. I probably watched four of his games last week, and I think hes really quick with great feet and balance. He doesnt have as much shake-and-bake, make-you-miss, but with his feet and acceleration, he makes you miss anyway.
Mayock has USCs Ryan Kalil as the top-rated left tackle, and even though he doesnt have Iowas Riley Reiff with a top-10 grade, he wouldnt be surprised if that happens.
Mayock has four receivers with first-round grades. There are an awful lot of big receivers that will have to run well, he said.
If he was running the Rams, a Cleveland offeri of Nos. 4 and 22 for the second overall pick would get a deal done for him.
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