Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quick Take on Broncos, Draft, and Pick #31: Mike Mayock NFL Draft Expert on NFL Network

Mayock on who might be good for Broncos at 31st overall pick

NFL Network’s draft guru Mike Mayock held a media conference call Tuesday as a primer to the scouting combine this week in Indianapolis.

The Broncos don’t pick until No. 31 which is fine because Mayock said “from my perspective this is the deepest and best draft class that I've seen in probably 10 years.” 

*Our Take*

*We agree with him as well. The change of style in football over the last 10 years or so have now produced these players to play BIG, FAST, PHYSICAL in small to large areas. 10 yard x 10 yard area square yards (Von Miller excels at aka 3 cone drill) We cannot emphasize the importance of the 3 cone drill and the first 10 and 20 yards of a 40 yards dash is FAR more important than a full 40 time. That "burst" is self evident. 

We wish pro days revealed and kept record of the 10 and 20 yard split times as they reveal quickness and speed top end. The players rarely just run straight in a game. The have to change their direction often. Shift, stop, restart, etc. 40 yard time in many aspects is the most irrelevant measurable that is still used by scouts for which we do not really understand why its emphasized so much. Worth mentioning? We suppose so, but not the first to be looked at or mentioned or superimposed on the players bio and graphic on screen.

Then some players, few, nickel LB, safeties, slot DB's may play on occasion in much bigger areas at 20 yards X 35 yards or so. Special teams normally is that situation for the gunners and staple of LB/TE/RB sized players compared to the straight gunners down on kicks. 

Over the change in style, these prospects have established skills tailored to use a fast pace on the offense and the defense is built to play in space and faster defensive ends and more defensive backs involved more often. Nickel and Dime packages because of 3, 4 WR sets, and even empty sets. The vast majority is done in shotgun too. This lends to speed pass rush whether is via strength or pace. The biggest characteristic is not measurable, how they react to the real thing and the biggest variable in most aspects of life and all of athletics: Anticipation

In my opinion, Mayock started pushing ESPN’s Mel Kiper for top draft expert in 2006 when Mayock said Jay Cutler was a better NFL quarterback prospect than Vince Young or Matt Leinart.

Mayock looked pretty smart there. Then again, Kiper was concerned with Cutler’s 11-34 record at Vanderbilt.

* Our Take - We'd put McShay far past Kiper and Mayock with McShay. Kiper knows draft prospects excellently and who is the best equipped players at this very moment, but forecasting their NFL careers or the potential for schemes, teams, coaches, etc is where McShay and Mayock set themselves apart more. All that in regard though, Just like national recruiting day in the NCAA, the Broncos had 2 and 3 star recruits dominate their roster. "Only Time will Tell, not a person." - C. Haws

Granted, the 'blue chip' ranking weren't out when Peyton and Champ were recruited so that would give them a couple 5 star recruits more, but it still wasn't close to the 1,2, and 3 star recruits that were on the roster in comparison to 4, 5 star recruits. Be interested to see what round or rated prospect exists across NFL rosters. Would not surprise us to know that 4th round or later have made impact or numbers challenge the first 3 round picks and even more if it were just the 1st and 2nd rounds and 3rd went to the other category. 

Ranking drafts and recruiting classes are meaningless. Rank them a few years later or even at least one season. Almost everyone claimed the Vikings made off with the incredible draft last year and they are sitting even in a higher draft position this season. Draft prospects and their ratings are as accurate or predictable as the national scouting ranking for HS athletes being recruited for college athletics.

Anyway, I gave Mayock four positions the Broncos might consider with the No. 31 overall pick. Here’s what Mayock said about each:

Middle linebacker (Keith Brooking, 37, and Paris Lenon, 36, started the past two years): “That whole middle linebacker thing is interesting to me. Most people would say it’s a little high, a little rich for (Wisconsin’s) Chris Borland but I don’t believe that. I think Borland could step in and immediately stabilize that whole situation.”

Defensive end (Shaun Phillips and Robert Ayers are free agents; Derek Wolfe returning from seizure-like illness): “Scott Crichton is an interesting guy from Oregon State at defensive end. He’s got a great effort, motor, tough against the run, will get upfield fast. I like him a lot and 31 is about right for him.”

Cornerback (Champ Bailey will be 36; Chris Harris coming off ACL; Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is free agent. And I told Mayock the Broncos like larger, Seahawk-sized corners)): “Kyle Fuller from Virginia Tech. He’s a longer corner, I think he can flat out play. I’m anxious to see what he runs. Some of these other corners, somebody like Keith McGill, you can get him in the second or third round from Utah. He’s 6-foot-3. I watched his UCLA tape the other day. He’s got some real skills being a Seattle type corner he just needs to be more consistent.”

Safety (Mike Adams is a free agent; Rahim Moore has unusual circulation condition; Duke Ihenacho faded): “Lamarcus Joyner from Florida State could be there. He’s an explosive quick-twitch athlete who could play safety or nickel. He played mostly corner at Florida State and he’s going to have some special team ability, also. I like him a lot.

Depending on how the draft picks unfold but we really really like Crichton from +Oregon State University at that spot. Presuming Barr and the more or less LB/DE hybrid top prospects have been passed up. Ideally Derek Wolfe is able to play at full strength again and really come into his own with Jackson and Crichton would form a very versatile, athletic, big line. We absolutely LOVE Kyle Fuller and if he is available, from this point, he still has a pro day and combine to attend (not sure how much he'll do at the combine). If the Broncos like Borland, we feel they shouldn't use their first on him and if late 2nd is way too far of a drop for him, Skov from Stanford can play pretty good football. Keith McGill is raw but he is very big and strong and is absolutely worth a 2nd rounder. Kyle Whittingham and the Utes schemetically have proven to turn players into pro talent at the DB position. Weddle, Sean Smith, and McCain to name just a few and now they're bringing in higher star recruits switching to the +Pac-12 Conference. He is maybe the biggest DB in the draft. Certainly has size to play safety. He sometimes needs to play to his size and use it as a major strength. Something the NFL teach raw talented DB is their positioning. They either find out they're up for the level of play cognitively AND physically. Some DE/WR and more DB's to be discussed in the future, of course. +BRONCOS CR3W +Denver Broncos #BroncosCR3W #Broncos. Cannot dismiss the contribution and explosive anticipation that is draped all over +Florida State Seminoles Lamarcus Joyner. The fact he contributes to special teams is ALL the more reason to love him. We have been the utmost critical of the Broncos special teams personnel and coaching (Holliday being a big part of that). Can't go wrong with either and there is expected to be some fairly nasty dogs on the DL coming down the board into the 2nd and 3rd rounds. In Elway we trust. "Only Time will Tell, not a person..."