During a conference call with media members, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network spoke of some intriguing topics heading into the start of this week’s NFL Scouting Combine.
On the San Diego Chargers’ No. 11 draft pick:
Mayock believes the Chargers are in a good position with several options at their disposal. He thinks the Chargers could go with an offensive lineman, either a guard or tackle, in which case the most likely selections in his mind would be Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack, North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher or Oklahoma’s offensive tackle Lane Johnson, whose draft stock rose during the Senior Bowl. Mayock also believes the Chargers wouldn’t go wrong with a 3-4 linebacker/defensive end hybrid like Oregon’s Dion Jordan.
On the NFL Draft’s deepest positions:
Without a doubt, Mayock believes the offensive line and defensive tackle positions are the deepest in this year’s draft. Led by Texas A&M’s offensive tackle and potential No. 1 overall pick Luke Joeckel, Mayock gave first-round grades to six offensive linemen and six defensive tackles heading into the Scouting Combine, compared to just one cornerback and two wide receivers who received first-round grades.
On the NFL Draft’s weakest positions:
The weakest positions, according to Mayock, are quarterback, tight end and cornerback. Only three tight ends stick out: Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert, Stanford’s Zach Ertz and San Diego State’s Gavin Escobar. All are very similar physically and each could potentially be picked in the first round. After these three, there is a significant drop off. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who some possibly see going to the Kansas City Chiefs No. 1 overall, and USC’s Matt Barkley are late first-rounders, who should go between No. 20 and No. 32 in the first round according to Mayock. Alabama’s Dee Milliner is the only cornerback with a first-round grade from Mayock.
On Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher:
Mayock says Fisher, who many project going to the Chargers in many mock drafts if he is still on the board, is a top four offensive lineman prospect and should be considered for the No. 1 overall selection. Fisher is long with great footwork, who showed off his upper-body strength, a question mark for some scouts, at the Senior Bowl. Mayock says Fisher is very similar to Joeckel and raised his stock dramatically at the Senior Bowl.
On depth and impact players in this year’s draft:
Mayock says there is more depth in this year’s class, but considerably less playmakers. There are no Von Millers or Andrew Lucks, players you “bang the table” or move up in the draft, to take. The offensive lineman and defensive lineman positions are the safest picks because there are no immediate impact players. Mayock said there is not much difference between the No. 5 and No. 25 pick in this year’s draft.