NFL Network's Mike Mayock was part of a marathon two hour long conference call today where he answered questions from reporters and bloggers alike regarding the 2012 NFL Draft. Stampede Blue live tweeted the call, and we managed to get some great information about certain players that the Indianapolis Colts may or may not select.
For starters, the Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell was on the call as well, and he asked about what the Colts needed to do in this draft. Mayock was quick to point out that, unlike someone like Joe Flacco to the Ravens in 2008, Luck is not coming to a team with a strong defense or running game. Thus, any notion of building this team to run the football and play defense as a way of helping Luck develop does not make sense.
Instead, the Colts should go offense (WR or TE), not unlike what they did with Peyton Manning in 1998.
Mayock said the Colts need to talk an explosive wide receiver, maybe with the No. 34 pick. He also said is possible that Stanford tight end Coby Fleener could be there for the Colts in the second round.
When my turn came around for questions of Mayock, I asked about nose tackles (specifically zero technique tackle for a 3-4) and who could be available on the second day.
Here were Mayock's answers:
- He like Washington's Alameda Ta'amu, especially as a two down NT. Very big. fits the bill for teams needing a 3-4 NT. Mayock slots Ta'amu as an early or middle third rounder.
- Michigan's Mike Martin was also high on Mayock's nose tackle list. Martin (6'2, 300 pounds) seems undersized as a nose, but Mayock spoke very highly of his ability to hold his own there.
- Alabama's Josh Chapman is another name Mayock likes in the third round.
- Mayock did not think Clemson's Brandon Thompson is ideally suited to play five technique NT. He's better suited as a three tech DT in a 4-3.
Other highlights from the call:
- Janoris Jenkins is scaring several teams away with his off-the-field issues. He could very well be there at No. 34.
- Spoke very highly of 2011 Colts draft picks Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana.
- Not very impressed with wide receivers on the second day, an opinion that seemed surprising. Mayock said he was worried about Alshon Jeffery's weight and speed.
- He considers Michael Floyd and Justin Blackmon very comparable, but Blackmon will get drafted ahead of Floyd.
- Around the league, six players are viewed as "blue chippers." Ryan Tannehill is one of them. Mayock does not think Tannehill should go higher than 15, but league perception is he is blue chip player.
- Harrison Smith is the second best safety in draft, and h might get drafted between 28-40.
Luke Kuechly is one of Top 10 players in the entire draft.
A transcript of the entire call will be available later. We will post it for your reading pleasure. Special thanks again to Mike Mayock for answering all questions on the call.