Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mike Mayock's 2017 NFL Draft position rankings are out and worth arguing

No lie I miss me some Mike Mayock.  Mayock was the lead analyst on NBC's Notre Dame Football coverage for a few years and brought an understated expertise of the game that didn't exist since Cris Collingsworth left for bigger broadcasting pastures in the mid 90's.  Mayock was replaced with another Boston College alum in Doug Flutie who doesn't hold a candle to what Mayock brings to the broadcasting booth.

Anyways Mayock knows how to scout and judge college football players for their overall talent and abilities coming into the NFL draft.  Mayock's eyes and knowledge are probably ten fold to what I possess.

Let's take a look at Mayock's top 5 players by position going into the NFL scouting combine and I will give you my thoughts/arguments/agreements with Mayock's list.




Quarterback


1. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
2. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
3. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
4. Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech
5. Davis Webb, California
My thoughts:
For all intended purposes this is a very weak year for QBs in the draft.  None of those 5 names Mayock mentions pop out to me as can't miss.  Kizer has the size, arm, and athleticism that makes scouts wet.  But he went 4-8 last season with a talented ND roster surrounding him and when he had chances to win the game in the 4th quarter he fell short numerous times.  Watson isn't the prototypical NFL QB size wise but he has the moxie, leadership and winning attitude that none of the other QBs have.  Trubisky is a complete wild card to me.  I've seen Trubisky play a few times and honestly I don't see why scouts are so high on him.  Mahomes tore up the BIG 12 conference but his lack of height is concerning while playing in a spread offense.  Webb has NFL size at 6'4 and an arm to match.  He was under the radar in Berkeley and had a great senior season coming back from an injury during his junior season.  But none of these guys scream out first round pick.  If anything I'm trading down to get a guy like Mahomes or Webb in the 2nd or 3rd round instead of taking a gamble with Kizer, Watson or Trubisky who most draft pundits have as first round locks.



Running Back


1. Dalvin Cook, Florida State
2. Leonard Fournette, LSU
3. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
5. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
My thoughts:
I love Dalvin Cook.  The guy does it all.  He can cut on a dime and take it to the house.  He can run between the tackles with power.  He can also catch the ball out of the backfield.  He's a matchup nightmare.  Cook is a can't miss type of player IMO.  I once thought the same with Fournette but his junior tape wasn't great.  Bama bottled him up again.  He took plays off, sat out the bowl game and did his best not to get injured so he could collect a big paycheck come April.  I don't blame him but I'm not sure I want that type of player on my team who thinks me first.  McCaffrey is a great college player.  He should have won the Heisman over Derrick Henry.  Put him in the right offense and he could be great but I'm concerned about his injuries and he too sat out the bowl game in order to collect a big check.  Kamara and Mixon are both headcases.  Kamara couldn't cut it in Tuscaloosa and Mixon knocks out girls in fast food joints.

Wide receiver


1. Corey Davis, Western Michigan
2. Mike Williams, Clemson
3. John Ross, Washington
4. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
5. Zay Jones, East Carolina
My thoughts:
I'm surprised Mike Williams isn't #1 on Mayock's list.  Nothing against Corey Davis but Williams was a game changer for Clemson and made Deshaun Watson look a lot better than he actually is.  I would probably put John Ross as my #2.  Ross is very intriguing and he reminds me a lot of Antonio Brown.  Kupp has come out of nowhere and is drawing comparisons to Jordy Nelson because he's a scraper, high motor, first one in last one out aka the white guy.  Zay Jones is another sleeper like Kupp.  No he's not white but the guy caught a million balls for East Carolina and at the very least will be a good #2 receiver in the NFL.




Tight end


1. O.J. Howard, Alabama
2. David Njoku, Miami
3. Evan Engram, Ole Miss
4. Jake Butt, Michigan
5. Gerald Everett, South Alabama
My thoughts:
Howard has the size, speed, talent and hands to be an excellent NFL tight end.  It's really just up to him because God blessed him with elite skills.  I would have Engram #2 over Njoku right now but I can see why Mayock is high on Njoku.  Njoku has developed into a matchup nightmare for linebackers and I think Howard, Njoku and Engram could all be 1st round draft picks.  Butt suffered a knee injury in the Orange Bowl but his hands and blocking are top notch.  I know absolutely nothing about Everett or South Alabama so I'm not going to bull shit you.  You can't go wrong with any of those first three names on Mayock's tight end list.

Offensive tackle


1. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
2. Garett Bolles, Utah
3. Antonio Garcia, Troy
4. Roderick Johnson, Florida State
T-5. Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
T-5. Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M
My thoughts:
Mayock throws out his first hot take with no mention of Bama's Cam Robinson in his top 6.  Must be something to do with those pesky gun and drug issues he had in Tuscaloosa that were conveniently swept under the rug.  Big fan of Ramczyk and Johnson.  Both can play left or right tackle in the NFL.  The other guys on Mayock's list I'm not familiar with so I'll take his word for it that they will be earning millions in the NFL while going bankrupt in retirement.

Interior OL


1. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
2. Cam Robinson, Alabama
3. Dan Feeney, Indiana
4. Ethan Pocic, LSU
5. Dion Dawkins, Temple
My thoughts:  Well I be damn.  Mayock has Robinson at guard.  Hmm.  Watch him drop to the 2nd round and the Cowboys pick him up and he becomes yet another elite offensive linemen for the Cowboys only to never win a playoff game.  Feeney would be my #2 behind Robinson.  Lamp has drawn comparisons to All-Pro Zach Martin which is why Mayock is so high on him coming out of Western Kentucky. In terms of talent the interior OL might be the strongest position as Pocic and Dawkins also have bright futures at the next level.

Interior DL


1. Jonathan Allen, Alabama
2. Caleb Brantley, Florida
3. Malik McDowell, Michigan State
4. Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte
5. Chris Wormley, Michigan
My thoughts:
Allen is a boom or bust prospect.  Allen led Bama in sacks the last two seasons but he's also been surrounded by great players and rarely was double teamed.  Brantley is a little undersized but he can play with the best of them and is a high motor player.  McDowell could be #1 on Mayock's list but he has a tendency to be lazy and take plays off.  That shit won't fly in the NFL.  Not sure why Ogunjobi is in Mayock's top 5.  He's undersized and tends to get pushed around.  I would put a guy like UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes over him who isn't even listed.  Wormley is just another Michigan guy who shouldn't be listed.

Edge rusher


1. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
2. Tim Williams, Alabama
3. Derek Barnett, Tennessee
4. Solomon Thomas, Stanford
5. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
My thoughts:
Not a fan of Michigan football by any means but I don't know why scouts are sleeping on Taco Charlton.  He was the best player by far on Michigan's defense but yet everyone talks about future bust Jabrill Peppers instead.  Anyways Taco should be on Mayock's list.  Garrett is the clear cut #1 overall pick at this point.  Garrett is a can't miss type of player unfortunately he will be going to Cleveland where clearly a lot of players wind up misses.  Williams is overrated and not better than Barnett, Thomas or Taco.  Williams is another guy with gun issues that got conveniently swept under the rug by Nick Saban.  Thomas is the whole package and will be a star in the NFL.  McKinley was great on a bad UCLA team and at worst should be a 2nd round pick.  Barnett is a guy scouts are high on but I never saw him dominate the college game.


Linebacker


1. Reuben Foster, Alabama
2. Haason Reddick, Temple
3. Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
4. Jarrad Davis, Florida
5. Alex Anzalone, Florida
My thoughts:
Cunningham would be my #1.  That dude is all over the field and despite playing on a mediocre Vandy team he was the main reason they had a huge win at UGA.  Foster isn't a MIKE linebacker like Cunningham so he's going to be OLB but he seems a little small for the position.  Speed wise Foster is elite and I think he will be one of the better Bama NFL linebackers.  Temple's Reddick had an outstanding 22.5 tackles for loss.  No issues with Davis being up there but I would have JJ Watt's brother T.J. over Anzalone in the top 5. 

Cornerback


1. Sidney Jones, Washington
2. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
3. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
4. Teez Tabor, Florida
5. Tre'Davious White, LSU
My thoughts:
No objections here.  Jones and Lattimore are basically the same player.  Lockdown corners who you could flip spots and it wouldn't really matter.  Beginning of the season I thought Humphrey was the best of the bunch but he slipped slightly.  All 5 of these guys should at the least be serviceable.

Safety


1. Malik Hooker, Ohio State
2. Jamal Adams, LSU
3. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
4. Budda Baker, Washington
5. Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
My thoughts:
Same with the top two cornerbacks the top two safeties in Hooker and Adams have set themselves apart from the rest of the pack.  Peppers might not go first round because he doesn't really have a position he plays that he excels at but his ability to return kicks should help his draft grade.  I like Baker more than Peppers because he can play centerfield and not let anything get on top of him because of his speed.  I'm not familiar with Melifonwu.