Mike Mayock held his annual marathon, pre-Combine conference call with over 200 reporters today and covered a number of team needs, players, and positions. Here are some of the highlights, and things that could be relevant to the Redskins in this year's draft.
Full Audio of the Call(2 hours and 45 minutes)
Full Transcript of the Call
Redskins draft needs:
Mayock on #Redskins: How they evaluate o-linemen Morgan Moses, Spencer Long is important. Calls David Amerson "questionable". Interesting.— Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) February 16, 2015
Mike Mayock doesn't believe #Redskins Chris Chester can play RG anymore. Says OL, Corner, and safety are priorities. Also notes edge rusher— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Q. Can I get your thoughts on where the Redskins could go at 5 overall? And specifically on two players, Danny Shelton and Syracuse safety Durell Eskridge, obviously later in the draft? ~ Emmanuel Benton
Mayock: Sure. To me, Eskridge is a guy that's a big, raw safety, needs to be a more consistent tackler. He's got size. He's got to get stronger, he's got to be more confident in his tackling. He covers a lot of ground, but he's a cut tackler that misses too many tackles. I think he's a mid to late draft pick. He's going to make his living on special teams which will buy him enough time to learn how to play safety.
Who was the other player? Danny Shelton? Is a top 10 pick. Love his pick. There are very few guys that play that position at 350 pounds that can play plus or minus 80% of the snaps. In the NFL, Wilfork and the freak from Kansas City, Dontari Poe, there aren't many guys with size that can play so much. This kid played 80% of the snaps up and down the line of scrimmage. You can't run against them, and he gets them pushing the pocket. So I think he's a really intriguing guy.
Now with Washington and where they could go at number 5, remember Scot McCloughan is part of the draft. His background tells you he's a big, bodied guy. Offensive line and defensive line, big, strong guys. Where could they go? I think offensive line needs help. How they evaluate Morgan Moses and Spencer long who are both fourth round picks a year ago is going to be important. I think Chris Chester, his best football is way behind him. I don't think he can play right guard anymore. So I think they need to upgrade that offensive line if they're going to take care of their quarterback first and foremost. They need help at defensive back, especially safety.
But DeAngelo Hall is old coming off two Achilles tears. David Amerson is questionable. I really like Bashaud. So I think corner or safety is a priority somewhere early in the draft along with offensive line, and obviously they're going to have to plan Orakpo tore the pec, he probably won't be back, so they're probably going to have to look at an edge rusher also.
This draft is thin at safety:
Mike Mayock on Conference Call: The strength of this year's draft at RB and WR. Draft thinnest at QB and safety. #NFLCombine— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) February 16, 2015
Mayock on Alabama S Landon Collins: Can play strong safety in base and also good enough vs. run to be a sub-package LB.— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) February 16, 2015
Mayock says #Alabama Safety Landon Collins reminds him of Deone Buchannon from last year. He liked how Arizona used him in-the-box— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Brandon Scherrf top OL in the draft, projects to guard:
Mike Mayock rates Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff as top offensive linemen in the draft, projects him inside to guard— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) February 16, 2015
"It's a question of a very similar conversation that we had with Zack Martin last year. You could start [Martin] at left tackle, and he'd be a good left tackle, you could start him at right tackle and be a very good right tackle," Mayock said. "But as it turned out, he was an All-Pro, year one, at right guard. And when I look at Brandon Scherff, I see a similar example, I see a similar kid with longer arms, so that leads me to think he can play outside more easily. And again, I believe he can play outside. However, I think his best position, because of his power, his toughness, and his football sense is inside. I think he's an All-Pro guard, but that doesn't mean he can't play tackle in the NFL."
La'el Collins is the best RT prospect in the draft:
Mike Mayock calls @NFL_CFB ‘Path to the Draft’ featured player La’El Collins the best RT prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) February 16, 2015
Mayock says La'el Collins is a top-20 pick. #NFLDraft— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
"La'el Collins is a plug and play right tackle." - Mayock #LSU #NFLDraft— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Browns packaging their two 1sts to move up for a QB:
Mayock says it's difficult to package No. 12 & 19 for a question mark at QB; says WR and RT make sense.— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) February 16, 2015
Eagles Trading up for a QB/RGIII deal:
Mayock says he applauded #Redskins RGIII-trade and believes if you need a QB - go get him. But says RGIII's struggles could make some gunshy— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Mayock says he's not sure if Winston or Mariota are worth trading up for like RGIII was. Different situation, he says in regards to #Eagles— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Eagles draft possibilities:
Mayock on the @Eagles draft if they stay at #20: "I do believes there's going to be a corner at #20 that fits who they are."— NFL Media PR (@InsideNFLMedia) February 16, 2015
More on @Eagles at #20: Likes @UW OLB Shaq Thompson at safety* and @lsu CB Jalen Collins— NFL Media PR (@InsideNFLMedia) February 16, 2015
Kevin White is rated higher than Amari Cooper:
Mike Mayock ranks Kevin White (West Virginia) ahead of Amari Cooper (Alabama) at top of wide receiver class— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) February 16, 2015
"I've got Kevin White above him [Amari Cooper] because I think he has a higher ceiling. But I want to see what he runs" -- Mike Mayock— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Mayock is expecting the #Raiders to go WR at 4 overall. Kevin White, Amari Cooper, DaVante Parker are all in play.— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
WR Devin Funchess:
Mayock fairly high on Michigan’s Devin Funchess at wideout, said he’s got better movement skills than Kelvin Benjamin.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) February 16, 2015
Dante Fowler, Jr.:
High praise for Florida’s Dante Fowler from Mike Mayock, who he says is comparable to Chiefs’ star Justin Houston.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) February 16, 2015
Mayock loves UF edge rusher Dante Fowler, saying he's 15-20 lbs heavier than Randy Gregory (Neb) & Shane Ray (Mizzou) but just as explosive— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) February 16, 2015
Mike Mayock really likes #Delware TE Nick Boyle as an in-line blocking tight end. Says he sees him as a 4th or 5th round guy. #NFLDraft— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Mike Mayock says Delaware TE (and NJ product) Nick Boyle "opened some eyes" at Sr. Bowl and is a "valuable commodity" as blocking TE #giants— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) February 16, 2015
Mayock says #Miami T Ereck Flowers could potentially become a pro-bowl right tackle. Maybe a left tackle.— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
OG Laken Tomlinson:
Mayock comp: Detroit Lions OL Larry Warford and Duke OL Laken Tomlinson.— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) February 16, 2015
Mayock says #Duke G Laken Tomlinson is a really good player. Silenced some doubters at the senior bowl.— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Mayock: Washington NT Danny Shelton obviously is similar to Ravens DT Haloti Ngata. ...sees him as top-10 pick. #Bears— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) February 16, 2015
DE Arik Armstead:
"6ft 8, 290 and he's a baby." Mike Mayock on #Oregon DE Arik Armstead. Said he's going to grow into something major. Can play 3-4 DE— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) February 16, 2015
Mayock mentioning Arik Armstead. Ridiculous length (which McCloughan likes) Athletic enough to 1-gap penetrate as 3-4 DE. Will get stronger— Paul Conner (@P_Hazard) February 16, 2015
Recap of the call:
14 takeaways from Mike Mayock's 2015 NFL Draft Q&A. --> http://t.co/2UhyCBsk2t pic.twitter.com/ZvSX8JFno7— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) February 16, 2015
"Washington went and got the guy they thought could help them win a Super Bowl," Mayock said. "Because of what's happened with that kid, both with injuries and the way he's played, I think a lot of teams are very nervous about the perception of mortgaging your future."
The most heavily speculated trade-up involves the Philadelphia Eagles making a move to get Mariota, who played for coach Chip Kelly at Oregon and is more of an immediate fit for Kelly's offense than any other club in the league. Mayock doesn't see it.
"I'm not sure either of these two guys, you can mortgage your future on," Mayock said. "Unless you completely understand the kid and buy into the kid 100 percent and you're willing to move up. I don't know if Chip Kelly can go from No. 20 to wherever -- that's a long way to move. ... I don't see the market that we had for RGIII."
Aggressive defensive coordinators, listen up: Two cornerbacks prospects whose tape indicates better play in press-man coverage rather than off-man coverage are Washington's Marcus Peters and USC's Josh Shaw, according to Mayock.
Vic Beasley was a star defensive end at Clemson and is known for his pass-rush production. But he will have to make the move to outside linebacker in the NFL, and Mayock said Beasley's weigh-in at the combine will be closely monitored. "The concern around the league is whether he is underpowered," Mayock said. Concern is especially high about Beasley's ability to take on blocks and hold his own against a power rushing attack.
Like Beasley, Mayock cited size concerns on Missouri defensive end Shane Ray as well. "The most impressive thing about him is his first first step. ... He is so quick at the snap," Mayock said. Ray (245 pounds) registered 14.5 sacks as a junior.
"I see eight defensive tackles who are high-level players," Mayock said. He named, in order, USC's Leonard Williams, Washington's Danny Shelton, Texas' Malcom Brown, Oregon's Arik Armstead, Oklahoma's Jordan Phillips, Florida State's Eddie Goldman, Iowa's Carl Davis and Ohio State's Michael Bennett.