|Mike Mayock weighs in on potential Patriots and whether Lane Johnson is the next Nate Solder||02.24.13 at 9:44 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — One of the most beneficial parts of the NFL scouting combine is being able to bounce stuff off Mike Mayock‘s head on the final day of media availability. Mayock, who of the big-name draft analysts is far and away the most accurate, provides a trustworthy perspective after extensive scouting of players.
Mayock’s press conference is usually among the most crowded on the final day, so while it’s hard to get a ton of questions in, we were able to get his thoughts on a few guys who have been linked to the Patriots.
On West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin, who ran a 4.34 40-yard dash and could be a fit in the slot for the Pats:
“You’ve heard me say a thousand times probably: Fast guys run fast, and it’s not a story. So I expected him to run fast. But what it does for him is that worst-case to me, he’s a second-round pick. Worst case. If you buy into him as a route runner and toughness, and if you can get him enough touches every game for him, he might be a first-round pick.
“The NFL has evolved into more and more of a college look — spread the field, get the football in the playmakers’ hands, and that’s what he is. He’s a playmaker, he’s a mismatch. I can only imagine being a nickel [back] or a safety and having to line up across from him in a slot knowing he runs a 4.35, knowing how quick he is. He’s really a difficult matchup and that’s what this league is. So I think all that time does is just endorses exactly what we thought of him on tape.”
On fellow West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey, who had 25 touchdowns last year but doesn’t measure off the charts at 5-foot-10 with a 4.50 40 time:
“Stedman Bailey is really a good football player. There are questions about his size. How fast is he? He’s probably a 4.5 or whatever he is. What I see is an instinctive, smart receiver that catches [the ball]; he’s a natural hands-catcher, and because [Tavon] Austin and Geno Smith get all of the attention, he kind of fell into the background. But if you watch him in the red zone on tape and his understanding and knowledge of route running and defenses, he’s one of the more smarter and instinctive receivers in this draft. I’d be surprised if he gets out of the third round.”
On receiver Da’Rick Rogers, who transferred from Tennessee to Tennessee Tech after failing three drug tests in three years and also having coachability issues.
“He’s a gifted guy. I don’t think he ran as fast as he had hoped to today. You put his tape on against Oregon at Tennessee Tech, and you go, ‘Wow.’ He caught four or five balls early against a team way better than them and they double-teamed him the rest of the way. He has some drops on tape, he’s a gifted kid. The more important thing is how do you figure the kid out? He’s had some significant off the field question marks and that’s going to hurt his value.”
On former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu:
“I like him. He’s a better football player than he is an athlete. He’s short and he’s probably speed-deficient, which is not a good combination. But what I think he is is a hell of a football player. He’s a slot defender, a nickel-type guy with return skills. How he handles not the public meetings because I would expect him to say all of the right things, but how he handles things
privately with all of the teams and whether they buy into him or not are the most important issues.” Read the rest of this entry »
|NFL Network’s Mike Mayock: Xavier Rhodes and Terrance Williams could be possible fits in New England||02.19.13 at 12:56 am ET|
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network weighed in Monday afternoon with some thoughts on this year’s draft, and had some specific thoughts on what the Patriots — who have the No. 29 overall pick, as well as four other selections — might do this year.
“I think when you’re looking at the Patriots at 29, the defensive back thing, whether it’s a corner or safety, to me needs to continue to be worked on with New England,” he said. “There is also some unpredictability about their wide receiver position. Starting with Wes Welker and moving right through their depth chart, Deion Branch, Julian Edelman, [Donte] Stallworth, all of those guys technically are unrestricted free agents.
“You’d like it to matchup with the need, obviously, and the needs would be wide receiver, d-backs, maybe another edge rusher,” he added. “I think Bill goes in with an open mind; ‘OK, who is going to fall to me at 29? And do I trade out if I don’t like what’s there?’ Which is always a possibility to trade down. Or can I get some value there?”
Mayock specifically mentioned Florida State defensive back Xavier Rhodes and Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams as possible fits for New England at No. 29. Rhodes is a 6-foot-2 cornerback who had seven picks over the course of his college career. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-2 Williams finished the 2012 season with 97 catches for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“He’s a 215-pound corner from Florida State. He might now has mostly second-round grades as a corner or a safety, depending on what he runs,” Mayock said of Rhodes. “The wide receiver position we talked about earlier, who is going to be available at 29? The kid from Baylor, big, good looking, height, width, speed guy in Terrance Williams.
“I think when you start getting down to the late first round, it’s really hard projecting,” Mayock said. “It’s going to be value, hopefully a position of need. If not position of need, somebody slides through that’s a great football player, if not, we’ve got to trade.”
|Mayock: Addition of Jones and Hightower to Patriots’ defense ‘a huge win’||05.04.12 at 8:36 am ET|
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network weighed in on the Patriots’ draft in the latest edition of “The Rich Eisen Podcast.” Saying that New England’s ability to get two starters for the front seven in Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower was a “huge win,” he was effusive in his praise of Bill Belichick and what he did to help the Patriots’ defense, particularly in the first round.
“I love those two moves and part of the reason is I love the two players they got. If I didn’t love them, I’d probably be killing [the Patriots]. Atypical of Bill Belichick, everybody assumes he’s moving down and out. If you look at that offense, it is obviously Super Bowl-ready; it carried them to one last year. That offense is ready to go; there’s not a whole lot more necessary even with the retirement of their left tackle. Defensively is what they had to augment and I went on the record before the draft in saying I thought that the defensive end from Syracuse, Chandler Jones, who was number nine on my board – three years from now he might be the best defensive end in football. I believe that strongly: he might be the best defensive player that comes out of this draft. I love that pick and the [Dont’a] Hightower thing was a no-brainer. You want to talk about somebody who is right up Bill Belichick’s alley it’s this kid. Anytime you can get two starters in your front seven on a defense that needs help, that’s a huge win.”
To check out more from the podcast, CLICK HERE.
|NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock says Pats will get Perry, Smith||04.25.12 at 3:50 pm ET|
With the first round of the draft now almost 24 hours away, NFL Network Mike Mayock has released his final mock draft, and he has the Patriots going after USC defensive end Nick Perry with the 27th overall pick and Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith at No. 31. For more on Perry, check our look at him as a “Potential Patriot” here. We’ve also got more on Smith here. For a complete look at how Mayock sees the first round breaking down, click HERE.
|NFL Network’s Mike Mayock: ‘Stephen Hill killed it’||02.27.12 at 8:35 pm ET|
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network is considered one of the preeminent draft analysts out there, so when he has something to say about a prospect — or a draft class in general — we’ll listen. Thanks to the PR folks from the NFL Network, here are a few of the highlights of his Q&A with the media on Sunday. Mayock talks about the quarterback class, the wide receivers, the tight ends and what he likes about this draft overall:
On the quarterback class: “If you look at last year’s draft and [Christian] Ponder goes at [No.] 12 and [Jake] Locker goes at No. 8, what I would tell you is that I would be stunned if [Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III] didn’t go one and two. Then [Ryan] Tannehill, even though he can’t workout, as long as he takes care through the process, shows people he can throw, what an athlete he is, Tannehill might go in the top 10. Everybody is thinking which team is going to get Griffin; in my head, I’m already slotting him 1-2 and wondering where Tannehill might end up because of how high Ponder and Locker went a year ago.”
On Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill: “Stephen Hill killed it. I had a bunch of scouts tell me before the combine this kid might blow the roof off of it and he did. The tough thing with Stephen Hill is coming out of that option offense, he’s hard to evaluate…From a football perspective, every team in the league has a lot of homework to do. He’s a hard guy to figure out, just like Demaryius Thomas was because you don’t see real routes; all you see are verticals, crosses and play-action and jump balls. You have to do your homework on this kid and he’s kind of pushed himself right up in the forefront of this wide receivers class.”
Read the rest of this entry »
|Mike Mayock feels Patriots need to add defense, a receiver in NFL draft||02.15.12 at 4:02 pm ET|
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon. The Patriots are picking 28th and 31st overall in the first round and have two picks in the second round, and Mayock said they would be wise to focus on defense early.
“They have two picks in the first round — what a surprise,” Mayock said. “Bill [Belichick] is a master at letting the board come to him, so I don’t even think Bill will know really until that last week prior to the draft what specific players he’s interested in. The way I look at it is it’s got to be all about defense. You’re sitting there with two picks, with the ability to move up, down or stay at 27 and 31. In a league where it’s a pass-first league, I was kind of happy to see the return of defense in the playoffs and the Super Bowl, but let’s be honest about it — there are a lot of teams, including the Patriots, that want a track meet every week, which means you have to rush the quarterback and you have to defend on the back end. I think those are the two areas of need that kind of cry out for some help in the draft for the Patriots.”
Mayock said that when it comes to offense, the Pats should focus on getting a vertical receiever. He noted that he believes the draft features four first-round receivers, and many big receivers who need to run well at next week’s combine to prove their worth.
“[Wes] Welker has had career years and those two tight ends are exceptional, which has kind of changed the way a lot of people look at offense in this league,” Mayock said. “I think you have to give Bill and his coaching staff a lot of credit for crafting what they’ve crafted with that offense. However, having said that, between Welker and the tight ends, they’re based in the middle of the field more than they are vertically. I think a vertical wide receiver could really help them.”
As for projected first overall pick Andrew Luck, Mayock said the Stanford quarterback is “not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning,” but that he is a better prospect than the likes of Matt Ryan and Cam Newton have been in recent years.
|Source confirms Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey visits with Patriots||03.31.11 at 8:41 pm ET|
A league source has confirmed a report that the Patriots had Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey in for a visit on Thursday.
Bailey is a 6-foot-3, 285-pounder who played defensive end and defensive tackle with the Hurricanes, and recorded 19 sacks in his college career, including seven as a senior. He recorded 31 tackles for a loss in with Miami, including 11 in 2010.
His numbers are off the charts for a many of his size: he’s posted a 4.71 in the 40, as well as a 36 1/2 inch vertical leap and a 9-foot-9 broad jump. Projected as a possible late first-round or early second-round selection — NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said “there’s no way [he] gets out of the second round” — the Patriots worked out Bailey early last month, then got another good look at him at Miami’s Pro Day. Bailey reportedly also has visits lined up with the Falcons, Broncos and Buccaneers.
A converted linebacker, Bailey has some positional versatility. In an interview at the NFL scouting combine last month, Bailey — who stayed at Miami for all four years, playing 50 games, just two shy of Brandon Meriweather for most in school history — talked a little but about his ability to play both defensive tackle and defensive end, as well as how the transition went as a collegian.
“It was an adjustment. I’d played strictly outside the last three years, so it was an adjustment going inside,” Bailey said, “[But] I got the swing of everything and adjusted pretty well.”
Bailey is the second confirmed player to make a pre-draft visit to Foxboro — Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter was the other. Teams are allowed to host up to 30 prospects at their facility prior to the draft.
For more on Bailey, check out our profile on him here. And here’s some video of his work at Miami:
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