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Mike Mayock Conference Call: Draft is Thin at Safety, Brandon Scherff is Best OL, La'el Collins Best RT

Mike Mayock's annual pre-Combine conference call with reporters had some interesting things to say about this year's draft class.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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:

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:

Landon Collins:

Brandon Scherrf top OL in the draft, projects to guard:

"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:

Browns packaging their two 1sts to move up for a QB:

Eagles Trading up for a QB/RGIII deal:

Eagles draft possibilities:

Kevin White is rated higher than Amari Cooper:

WR Devin Funchess:

Dante Fowler, Jr.:

Tight Ends:

Ereck Flowers:

OG Laken Tomlinson:

Danny Shelton:

DE Arik Armstead:

Recap of the call:

"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.