Mike Mayock is a well-respected draft analyst in the NFL and he had a long conference call yesterday regarding the 2014 NFL Draft. Click here for the whole transcript of Mayock’s call.
Question: As far as the Texans are concerned, I heard you say you hope they take Clowney. In your opinion, should they do that? Should they trade down? Other than what you already said, is there anything differently you see them doing?
Mike Mayock: I didn’t really say that. I think they could take him if they’re forced to sit at number one. The comment I made from the combine forward, and I still believe, is that first and foremost they have to evaluate all the quarterbacks and make sure if they fall in love with a quarterback, you got to believe in him, you got to take him at one. That trumps everything else. If you don’t fall in love with a quarterback, and I think it will be difficult for them to say, Yeah, that’s the guy, secondly I’d like to see them considering trading down. They’re doing a good job showing people they’re interested in Clowney, in Manziel, perhaps Mack, forcing people to come to them as far as a trade up or a trade down. I think they ought to try to trade down. To me that would be the best thing for the Houston franchise, if they were able to trade down to four, five, six, get an impact player and extra picks. If you can’t do that, I think they’re going to take Clowney. I think one of two things can happen if they do that. He either becomes part of your defense and you move forward, or you’ve controlled value at the top end of the draft and you may be able to trade him after that during the draft. That’s the scenario, and I think the best case for Houston would be to trade down.
OTHER POTENTIALLY TEXANS-RELATED QUESTIONS
Question: I have a question about Taylor Lewan from Michigan. Is there any way he could slip up to two passing the other two tackles?
Mike Mayock: It seems like no matter how I cut this thing, most of what I look at, he ends up in Atlanta at six. That makes a ton of sense. If Atlanta trades up for [Jadeveon] Clowney, all bets are off. I don’t think he’s going to pass either tackle. I think he’s going to be the third tackle off the board. Some teams might even like Zack Martin better. He’s going to be the third or fourth tackle, but I believe the third tackle off the board. If there’s no movement in the top six, I think [Greg] Robinson and [Jake] Matthews will go earlier. Atlanta who needs an edge rusher on defense on a tackle on offense would then take him at six.
Question: What do you think Seattle at the number 32 spot might be looking for? From the standpoint of when you’re a Super Bowl champion, you have a set roster at a number of spots, do you feel historically that changes anything in what you might be looking for?
Mike Mayock: Well, what I think is a good chance of happening is if Houston doesn’t take a quarterback at one, the entire league expects them to take a quarterback at 33. So depending on who is sitting on the board at the quarterback position at 32, I think they could get an awful lot of activity to move down. I think they’re in a great spot because of that. If I’m a Seattle fan, I’m rooting for Houston
to take Clowney at one. I’m rooting for Mettenberger and Bridgewater and Garoppolo, all those guys, to still be on the board so somebody wants to come up ahead of Houston and Seattle to trade down a few slots. I really believe that has a good chance of happening. If they sit there at 32, I’m a big believer of this, you just have to be versatile. Years ago when New England desperately — coming off a Super Bowl, they desperately wanted a defensive player, that entire board, the defensive first-round board was wiped, they ended up taking a guard by the name of Logan Mankins. I think there’s a story and lesson to be learned there. You have to pick at 32, regardless of your needs, a good football player. I said the same thing to somebody else who called about New Orleans at 27. Picking good football players at the end of the round is paramount rather than trying to catch lightning in a bottle and taking less talent with great production. They have to be versatile. They could end up with an interior lineman, but I think they’re going to trade down.
Question: Clearly everybody has their own opinion about different guys. The disparity of the opinion of Clowney is amazing. What do you attribute that disparity to?
Mike Mayock: Whenever a guy is blessed with as much ability as he’s blessed with, and I’ve made the statement that he woke up this morning with more physical ability than any defensive lineman on the planet, and I believe that, anywhere on the planet. With that ability comes certain responsibilities or perhaps expectations. There are times when he just kind of disappears. The Clemson tape, the left tackle from Clemson, Brandon Thomas, I thought got the best of him the entire game. If you’re that good, why do you disappear for a full game? It’s not as much technique, double-teaming or triple-teaming. It’s just sometimes he gets blocked and he stays blocked. What I’d like to see is a little bit more of an edge about him. When he was pissed off at Tennessee, their left tackle was chirping last year, he killed Tennessee’s entire offensive line for the whole game. I think when the kid is motivated, he’s special. The downside to it is coaches are looking at each other saying, ‘Are we going to have manage that every day for four or five years?’ You’d like to see a self-starter and not somebody you have to start.
There’s more to check out in the transcript, including his thoughts on the quarterbacks in the draft.
Be sure to stick with House of Houston for all the latest 2014 NFL Draft coverage.