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Draft analyst Mike Mayock talks Hawks

Post by Eric Williams on Feb. 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm with 37 Comments »
February 15, 2012 3:43 pm
Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call with media members this afternoon. For the eighth straight year the NFL Network will broadcast the NFL Scouting Combine from Indianapolis beginning next Thursday, Feb. 23.

And Mayock, considered one of the best in the business, is at the center of their coverage.

I asked Mayock about Seattle’s draft needs and what positions they will consider with the No. 11 or No. 12 overall pick.

Mayock said he’s watched a lot of Seattle Tarvaris Jackson because he still does the Minnesota preseason games and likes the Seattle quarterback’s skill set – to a point.

“I like him,” Mayock said. “He’s developed to a certain point, but I think that position needs to be upgraded. And I don’t mind T-Jack competing for the position, but I think you either have to get a free agent in there or you have to draft somebody.”

Also, Mayock was asked about what he thought about the second-tier quarterbacks after Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

And although he’s raw, Mayock likes Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill as the third quarterback option in this year’s draft. Similar to Jake Locker and Christian Ponder in last year’s draft, Mayock believes Tannehill could rise up the draft board and be selected in the first round.

“Las year none of us thought that Locker was going to go that high or Ponder was going to go that high,” Mayock said. “So Tannehill is a guy they (the Seahawks) have to at least be looking at. And if they don’t take him, then you get into the second round and you have to start taking a look at a guy like Brandon Weeden. But I think somebody has to come in and compete with T-Jack, and I think that position has to be upgraded.”

Here’s what he had to say about Tannehill’s play: “He’s got everything you want. He’s got size. He’s got arm strength. He’s a really good athlete. All you have to do is look at his tape as a wide receiver two years ago. He’s a big, strong fast kick with a really good arm.

“Now, what I don’t like about him is that he waits for routes to develop before he throws the football – in other words he lacks anticipation. And because of that he throws late into coverage and makes mistakes. Now, that’s not atypical for a lot of young quarterbacks in football, especially ones that only have a year and a half of starting under their belts. He hasn’t started as many games as I’d like to see from a typical, first-round NFL quarterback. Typically you’d like to see at least 25 minimum starts in college. But I think he’s going to be a first round guy.”

Mayock said if the Seahawks can’t convince themselves that there is a quarterback worthy of a first-round pick that high then they have to look at wide receiver or defensive end.

Baylor’s Kendall Wright, Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd and LSU’s Rueben Randle are possibilities in the first round.

However, Mayock said he did not like the depth at defensive end this year, and is not a fan of North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, who most mock draft have going in the top 10. So should Seattle be thinking best player available is someone like Alabama running back Trent Richardson slides down the draft board?

“I absolutely think when you’re drafting in that position that high you’ve got to get a great football player,” Mayock said. “And if you don’t like the defensive ends like I don’t – and by the way Pete (Carroll) might love Coples. And that’s fine. Pete would probably get Coples to play hard. And if he did, it would be a home run.

“But if you don’t like the defensive ends available at that point, then yeah you take the best player out there. And in that range there will be somebody available, maybe even a wide receiver.”

Mayock also talked about other quarterbacks like Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden, Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins and Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson.

Here’s what he had to say about Weeden: “When you look at Weeden I think there’s two negatives. One is his age. Everybody knows he’s 28 years old, and you’ve got to decide as a franchise how much of a negative that is. And then the other thing is I think he struggles when he has to reset in the pocket. He’s got to quicken up all of the processes in the pocket – feet, arm, decision-making – everything.

“So he’s 28 years old and you have to ask yourself at what point is he going to be our starting quarterback? If the answer is immediately, then somebody might take him late one. But I think he’s more like a second-round pick.”

On Kirk Cousins: “He’s got good feet and he’s a good athlete. He’s got a good, not great arm. I thought he had trouble moving and throwing to his left.

Mayock gave Cousins a fourth round grade:

“What I like about him is you can put the tape on and see the skills translate at the next level.”

On Wilson: “I look at Russell Wilson, and I saw him play as a freshman at N.C. State in person at North Carolina, and I saw him personally beat a pretty good football team without a whole lot of help. And I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this kid really gets it. He gets the game of football.’

“And no matter how small he was – he scrambled, but he wasn’t just a scrambler – his eyes stayed down the field, he drew people up and he threw over them. And he had a better arm than people think he has.

“So I’m intrigued by the kid. I’m anxious to watch the process develop as we get closer to April because he won a whole lot of games. … He’s the kind of guy I would love to have as a backup. Because I think he’s smart, he’s instinctive. I think if you’re starter got hurt he could lead you for four or five games. And he’s a kid I really like, and I want to continue to try and figure out.”

Mayock also addressed teams that could be considering securing Matt Flynn in free agency as a possible franchise quarterback instead of taking a guy at the top of the draft.

Here’s what he had to say about Flynn: “The Matt Flynn thing is interesting to me because when you look at the history of quarterbacks that have been kind of back-up guys that have played a few games and then have moved on and have been paid a lot of money – the latest of which is Kevin Kolb of course – there’s been some mixed results there.

“On one side there’s a Matt Hasselbeck, who went on to be a very good quarterback. You could probably even throw Brett Favre in there way back. But the bottom line to me is the league has minimal tape on Matt Flynn. And the league didn’t think that highly of him when he came out of college.

“So what is the answer? Is he the guy that we’ve seen those couple starts that he’s had where he’s lit it up and been phenomenal? Of is it the residue of wonderful wide receivers and a functioning offense where he’s just one or more component in there. And my question would be over a period of time – eight, 10, 12 14 games, where the league has a chance to get tape on Matt Flynn – at that point how effective is he?”

Interviews, NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 37
  1. One of the reasons I love this time of year in the NFL is Mike Mayock, there aren’t anybody in the entire media/scout game I respect as much as I respect him, love reading/watching everything he has to say about players.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    I agree. Of all the national talent evaluators, I respect Mayock’s opinion the most.

    Great post, Eric. Thanks.

  3. Odds of this person being our QB of the future (the “future” of Manning would be just the next couple years):

    Matt Flynn – 32.4%
    Ryan Tannenhill – 27.6%
    Peyton Manning – 9.3%
    RGIII – 4.2%
    Andrew Luck – 0.3%
    Josh Portis – 0.2%
    Other – 30%

    *Yes; random numbers pulled from my hind-end.

  4. What else you got up there, bobby?

    If I know anything about Schneider and Carroll it’s that they don’t give a flying Ford Focus what anybody else thinks.. and as much as we want to speculate, read, debate, and analyze the options (and I love doing it), we will simply no idea who they will pick until the name is read on draft day.

    A huge part of me wants to sign a FA quarterback quickly when the offseason begins – although I have reservations about Flynn and I think Manning is a long shot – because the idea of drafting any other position in the first round and heading into the season knowing our upside is limited with TJack kind of sucks the fun out of the draft for me.

    I don’t know if Flynn will be good or not, but there is HOPE attached to signing him, and as a fan, sometimes that’s all I need.

  5. Personally, I think that most GMs in the NFL really “don’t give a flying Ford Focus what anybody else thinks.” I’m not sure why the perception is that it’s only comPete and the Duke Boy who think this way? It’s kind of like all of the people who talk about Schneider gobbling up and getting as many draft picks as possible because he loves them when their record indicates that they have traded about as many picks away as they have received in return. It’s weird.

  6. I wholeheartedly agree about the stuff needing hope though! I’ll be so happy if they land Flynn!

  7. SeahawkFan12 says:

    I’m still lost on the hype over Flynn. I honestly don’t see how 2 games and sitting behind Rodgers qualifies him for it, but what do I know? It’s all a crap shoot at this point, and as has been pointed out, this is the most important position in football we’re talking about.

    I do have faith in Schneider and Carroll and truly believe that the QB situation will begin to move in the right direction very soon–wither through free agency or the draft or both. My vote: sign Manning and draft Cousins.

  8. HawkyHann says:

    Very interested to see what they plan on doing with Trufant and Thurmond. Both oft-injured corners should be released. Thurmond’s knees are jacked up, he’s tiny, and Tru just doesn’t excite me any more. That’s hard to say since I’ve been a fan since his Wilson High days, but we need to shed his contract. If he’ll come back on the cheap, then lets consider. What would be cool is if he went back to coach at Wilson and could then try to beat Kitna’s Lincoln High and claim the prize for being, Mr. Tacoma.

    Curious how good Byron Maxwell really is. He was injured all season but they seemed high on him for special teams. Looks like the physical type Pete likes though. We should grab another corner in the draft or FA.

  9. Thurmond didn’t suffer a knee injury this past season. I still think he’s a young guy who is going to have a good couple of seasons. The hit that he got hurt on this past season (broken fibula) was a hit that I think would have definitely hurt some ironmen type of players too. If it would have been the knee he hurt at Oregon, I’d be much more worried, but it’s not related. IMO, he’s the least of our worries moving forward. I think he’s going to emerge as a very good starting CB in this league and the bonus, for us, is that he’s not even going to be a starter! How’s that for some stud depth!

  10. am i the only one who’s gonna break bones from anger if they draft a wide receiver?

  11. I don’t hear Foles entering many conversations. Is he that far behind Tannehill, Weeden, Wilson, Cousins in skill?

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “Las year none of us thought that Locker was going to go that high or Ponder was going to go that high,”

    Mike Mayock- Not true! Several so called experts thought that Locker would go in the top ten as he should have!
    And to compare Tannehill to Locker is a joke imo.

    I do agree with you however that the defensive ends this year are weak compared to other years.
    So we should still draft for need instead of best player available? Lol.
    We need to pick the best this year – DeCastro, or whoever and then fill in the blanks through free agency. Imo.

  13. Teams weren’t high on our Stanford guys either coming out of college and look how they turned out as rookies.

    Teams weren’t super high on Kam . . . . you get the picture.

    Flynn only has 2 starts BUT in one of those he threw for what I believe to be the season high total for any QB of 480 yrds AND 6 TD’s. and this against a team that was in the playoff hunt and needed a win. Not just anybody can do that. Just my 2 cents

  14. Dukeshire says:

    RADEoN – In the first or second round? I’ll be right there with you breaking legs.

    Thurmond is not going to get cut. That’s silly. Makes next to nothing, he’s young, and he’s talented. Tru however, will have to redo his deal if he’s to stay. And even if he were to accept that, I’d hope they’d move him to the slot. But even then, that would put him on TEs at times, and that’s a gross miss match. My gut says he’s gone. In addition, his back may never allow him to play at a competent level again, sadly.

  15. Seahawks need a play making receiver…

    It would be silly not to consider a top flight WR if we can get our hands on one.

  16. ” I think that most GMs in the NFL really “don’t give a flying Ford Focus what anybody else thinks.” I’m not sure why the perception is that it’s only comPete and the Duke Boy who think this way? – BobbyK

    Who said that? Just because it is true about other GM’s does not mean that it’s not true about ours. Teams make surprise picks all the time that turn draft “experts” into second-guessing blowhards adjusting their ties on TV because their top 10 available hasn’t changed in two rounds. But there is also a precedent for GM’s making picks based upon hype rather than game film. There is a precedent for GM’s making picks to appease fans.

    There is a difference I guess between not caring what everybody else thinks (and realize that I am talking about other scouting groups and teams, not necessarily listening to fans or blogs) and seeing something that nobody else sees. Anyone can turn in the draft card, but will it have the right name on it? Schneider has shown that more often than not, he gets the name right.

  17. ryanryan says:

    while trufant has been injured – he still has some gas in his tank and when healthy imo has the best coverage skills on the team. he is a strong tackler as well when playing motivated football, which i expect him to play with all the youngsters competing around him. I’m not sure what his cap hit is, but I hope they don’t release him – we are not hurting for cap space and he can still contribute at a high level when healthy. I think the same was said for LeRoy Hill last year – and he had a hell of a season. Tru, Browner, Sherman, Kam and Thomas make a really nice nickel package and I’m expecting thurmond to make strides this year to make a VERY tough dime. We must address the pass rush early in the draft so those guys don’t have to cover receivers for 5 seconds for goodness sake.

  18. Interesting that Mayock doesn’t like Coples. I see the same thing in him – an underachiever.

    Let’s hope Miami passes on Upshaw – he’s my choice. He can play 3 downs and would be a terrific rush OLB in the Hawks 3-4 schemes.

  19. Can’t see us drafting a 6 foot slot receiver like Kendall Wright, though. We already have 2 very good ones.

  20. JazBadAzz says:

    Mayock and Corey Chavous are two of the best that I like out there, it seems that they only trust the info that they compile for themselves and don’t get sucked into the vacuum of blow hards!

    Trufant probably will have to restructure and he should be fine with that because he will not start but if he wants to be a starter then he’s gone. Hopefully he stays because a team can never have enough db’s with many teams going to spread formation. I’m afraid the rams would throw money at him and offer a starting role.

    I’m still high on upshaw, he just seems to always make plays on a defense that had play makers that was trying to beat him to the ball. Trent Richardson would be my next pick simply because you can’t coach greatness, the kid got HOF potential written all over him.

    I only hope they don’t draft Tannehill at that spot. If blackmon drops to that spot, Taken him!

  21. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I like Upshaw too!

    When was the last time we had a true stud linebacker that could also rush the passer? Almost like never!

    Our defense will be top 5 if we could find one. Imo.

    And I also wouldn’t mind if they pick a stud receiver. A home run hitter.
    Overall I think the offense needs much more help than the defense at this stage.

  22. Palerydr says:

    I believe this has been discussed before. What about Mario Williams? By signing him we get a proven DE pass rusher albeit coming off an inj. If we sign Williams I don’t see enough money to sign Red or a Flynn/Manning. If we were able to restructure Trufant’s contract then maybe we will have enough to sign a FA QB. It might take releasing Trufant however there will still be a cap hit of some amount. We then could draft a Gasp! WR with our first pick although I would want to take Brockers myself. any thoughts?

  23. HawkyHann says:

    The only thing I like about Thurmond is the Kid N Play doo he rocks . Oh, he broke his fibula Bobby, much better, my bad. Now a torn ACL and broken fibula. He’s off to a promising career. Probably a def. starter in the NFL. Just not on this team.

  24. Just heard something about an undisclosed fourth surgery and now bone spurs on Manning’s neck from a homie (though not sure were he got that info from), but yikes, how’s Payton looking now if that is true. Flynn, last three games, BCS championship, New England, and Detroit. I think that’s a little less gamble than on a rookie this year.

  25. Also, besides addressing the pass rush, I wouldn’t mind trying to grab another big time WR, who do we got that’s proven, Baldwin. I mean Rice is legit when he’s healthy, but how many times can we look forward to that? Butler/Tate, have potential, but are the same size as Baldwin who outshined both them his rookie year. We got Williams, I guess, plus Miller, Carlson, and Morrah, but we haven’t really utilized them, even when they weren’t hurt. Haveing another stud wideout to compliment Rice or take his spot when he goes down, I don’t think would be a bad idea. I guess I left out Durham and Lockette, unproven, and oh yeah, Obi Wan, how many plays he miss on.

  26. When was the last time we had a true stud linebacker that could also rush the passer? Almost like never!

    Fredd Young :)

  27. Julian Peterson, Chad Brown . . .

  28. Here are preferences for QB next year
    (won’t include Luck or RG3 – I don’t think there are at all possible)

    Flynn, Manning -ONLY IF HEALTHY-, Jackson (only if Tannehill or Cousins are pushing him/ready to replace him)

    If we had a legit chance at RG3 then he would be #2 on my list

  29. I’ve said this before– If Schneider thought that Matt Flynn was the long term answer, he could have worked a deal over the last two years to get him in here. Since he was in the front office of Green Bay when they drafted him, he would have insider knowledge. Much like Mike Holmgren had with Matt Hasselbeck. Holmy went out and got the deal done. Schneider didn’t seem interested, even when they decided that Matt Hasselbeck wasn’t the answer anymore prior to last season. I could be totally wrong, but I can’t see them paying big money for this guy.

  30. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Fred Young, Julian Peterson, and Chad Brown were all good linebackers!

    Unfortunately we didn’t have anyone of them for very long.

  31. Maybe GB wasn’t willing to part with Flynn back then or would of asked alot more then what we gave up for Whitehurst. If Whitehurst was worth dropping 20 spots in the 2nd and a 3rd round pick the following year, what would of Flynn been worth, 2nd string vs third string plus the stigma of GB qbs. I love how you can look back and just assume we could of grabbed him without even looking to the reasons why we might not have been able to.

  32. “I’ve said this before– If Schneider thought that Matt Flynn was the long term answer, he could have worked a deal over the last two years to get him in here. Since he was in the front office of Green Bay when they drafted him, he would have insider knowledge. Much like Mike Holmgren had with Matt Hasselbeck. Holmy went out and got the deal done. Schneider didn’t seem interested, even when they decided that Matt Hasselbeck wasn’t the answer anymore prior to last season. I could be totally wrong, but I can’t see them paying big money for this guy.” – rodman

    You are absolutely right about the fact that you could be totally wrong.

    This argument holds absolutely zero water and is not based in reality. You are not privy to anything. You know absolutely nothing about the situation or the intents of the parties involved.

  33. Ruuuuuuuu
    Loved that ominous noise at live games. You guys left off Rufus Porter!

  34. Dukeshire says:

    Very good call. For about 4 years, he was a monster here.

    I have to say, it’s a bit unfair to compare an OLB in. 3-4, like Porter and Young, to an OLB in a 4-3. Regardless, great list of rush ‘backers mentioned here.

  35. raymaines says:

    TruBlu saus:… Flynn, last three games, BCS championship, New England, and Detroit. I think that’s a little less gamble than on a rookie this year.

    I don’t even remotely pretend I can grade out QB’s, but your logic sounds good to me and I love spending nothing but money on a guy. Buy Flynn and Mario Williams, then use draft choices to plug the other holes and hope for the best.

  36. chucko24 says:

    Raymaines, I agree totally. If we get Flynn, we would be utilizing some of the best insider info of any team out there, so that’s fine by me.

    Manning? If we decide he’s worth rolling the dice…Im all in. Hawks will do their homework. I don’t think it will happen because Pete wants a young guy.

    First round pick, stud linebacker who can do it all, like Upshaw? I’m down! What could go wrong? hee hee

    Assuming we don’t get Flynn, Seattle should still go after someone who can get after the QB. Then take a QB in the second or 3rd round. I would have no problem if they took a high upside, chip on his shoulder qb, who can challenge Tjack…..and let Portis in that QB club to fight for the starting job.

    Lastly, we DO need at least 1 WR who is a play-maker. Our WR’s OOZE with potential greatness, yet constantly deliver disappointment and injuries. Drives me crazy!

    Overall, I think as long as we address those 3 areas; I will be happy with the draft.

  37. jawpeace says:

    A lot of people made comments about Tru needing to restructure his contract, to stay with the team. Well I remembering him doing that last year. Also last month I saw several sites that listed potential free agents and he was on that list, supposedly when he reworked his contract he made it so he could be a free agent in 2012. I did not remember that I thought he reworked the last two years of his deal lowering his base salary. Regardless we are set at the cb position.
    With the GM talking about patience at the QB spot could this be a possibility? I also kind of like the idea of trading down out of the first round this year with Indy. And getting their first pick in the second round and next year first rounder. Which will probably be a top five. Then we can draft a stud QB in a great class of QB’s.

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