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NFL Draft Preview: Mayock on Morris, Henderson, Manziel, Joyner,Sankey and More

NFL Network’s Draft lead draft analyst Mike Mayock addressed the media this afternoon to preview the upcoming 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. SOTU gives you the scoop on his thoughts on UM players, prospects around the ACC, and more.

Ronald Martinez

Note: NFL Network’s live coverage of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine on-field workouts begins Saturday, February 22 with the offensive linemen, tight ends and kickers, and continues with the running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers on Sunday, February 23, linebackers and defensive linemen on Monday, February 24 and defensive backs on Tuesday, February 25. Coverage of workouts begins each day at 9:00 AM ET.

In a draft that Mayock called the deepest he has seen in 25 years, plenty of talented players will be available.

Yet questions remain.

The draft guru from NFL Network addressed the media and while UM players were not not at the forefront, got plenty of analysis.

On Seantrel Henderson:

"Seantrel Henderson to me is one of the biggest boom or bust guys in the draft. A year ago I watched him against the kid Bjoern Werner of FSU who went in the first round and he shut him out. You see him play at that level sometimes and a completely different and lower level other times. There's no consistency with this kid at all. From a talent perspective he's a first or second round pick. But I don't see him getting picked anywhere near there. I think he's probably a 4th round pick. It is a buyer beware."

On Stephen Morris:

"I loved him last summer at the Manning Academy.  He's got a big arm, an engaging personality, he's a smart kid. He had an inconsistent senior year though, I know he had the foot or ankle or whatever it was. How much of that was the cause I'm not sure. To me he's a developmental pick, a mid to late round draft pick. I like his intelligence. I think a team is going to draft him and give him a year or two."

On Allen Hurns:

"He came out of no where this year. I saw him at the East West game, and he has average size. He has average speed. I don't see him separating in man to man or press coverage. He's not overly big, he's not overly fast. How does he fit in? He has to be crafty. He has to run great routes and he has to catch everything. I think he's a guy that is going to go later in the draft. Kind of a 5th, 6th round guy."

Mayock on Noteworthy ACC Prospects:

On QB Logan Thomas of Va Tech:

"Two years ago when I saw him play I thought he could be the first pick of the NFL Draft. Since then, he has two or three good tapes and the rest are really bad. But he's still 6'5 with a big beautiful body and can throw the ball."

On QB Tahj Boyd of Clemson:

"Tahj Boyd is an interesting guy because of his mobility and his arm strength is better than a lot of people think. He's got some inconsistencies on tape but he's a play maker and I like that."

On FSU CB Lemarcus Joyner:

"I've got him listed as a safety. He's a little bit like Tyrone Mathieu  in that he he played corner in college but will need to slide inside to safety or nickel or both." Mayock added, "He's an explosive,explosive athlete. I like him a lot "

On Virginia Tech's corner duo of Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum (who is coming off of knee surgery):

"I like Kyle Fuller. He's a longer corner, I think he can flat out play. I've got him as my third ranked corner in the draft.  He's a first round talent. I am anxious to see him run....

The injury is tough on Exum, because he is a good football player. My concerns are A, medical,  and then most importantly how well does he move. For me in my own mind it will determine if he is a corner or safety."

Additional Notes:

  • If your favorite team needs a play maker in its back field it is interesting to note that Mayock compared the abilities of Washington's explosive RB Bishop Sankey to Cincinnati Bengals top rookie Giovanni Bernard.
  • On the devaluation of RB's in general, he pointed out that the transition of the league to pass first may explain why no RBs were selected in the 1st round last April. He added that he did not expect the trend to end.
  • On Johnny Manziel, he made a comparison to Frank Tarkenton, and simply said "wow" when describing his game film Vs Alabama. He praised Manziel's arm strength and passion for the game.  But he added that in evaluating him, he did not like "being confined" in the pocket. Concluded  with  "At the end of the day he's different then any QB I have ever evaluated before. I believe in the kid but you are going to have to live with the negative plays as well as the positive ones"
  • Mayock called WR and OT the deepest positions in the draft, but added CB was not far behind, noting that,  "you can good a good starting offensive tackle 3, 4 rounds deep in this draft."
  • As far as the best WRs in the draft he singled out Marquise Lee of USC for his abilities to play inside and out as well as return kicks. He also lauded the physical abilities of Mike Evans of Texas A&M and Kelvin Benjamin of FSU, calling the big bodied recievers the "current flavor" of the NFL. On Rutgers WR Brandon Coleman he was concerned about his off season knee surgery and questioned if he could create separation with out using his size, as well as pointing out there are questions about his hands and speed.