The NFL Network's lead analyst for the 2015 NFL Draft, Mike Mayock, recently took part in a conference call and he hit on a number of draft related topics in approximately 90 minutes.
We'll highlight he Chicago Bears specific stuff, plus hit on his remarks about prospects the Bears could be interested it. For the full audio you can click here.
Mayock was asked which direction he feels the Bears will go at 7, would one of the top 2 wide receivers make sense or should they go defense no matter what.
Yeah, that's a great question because I think it's a right question, and it depends on how their board lays out. It's either you take Cooper or White if they're there versus whoever the highest rated defensive player on their board is. And it would be interesting to know where Danny Shelton is on that board, for instance, and whether or not they would commit to one of the top edge guys at that point, meaning a Beasley, Fowler will be gone, they probably won't touch Gregory that early.
That conversation for me, as bad as their numbers are on defense, No. 31 in points allowed, and as bad as that defense was, the fact that they lost the big wide out, and right now they've got Alshon Jeffrey, Eddie Royal, there's been a lot of conversation with Marquise Wilson, but he only hit 17 catches a year ago. If one of those two wide outs were available and you're trying to outscore some people, I'd have zero problem with that. But you've got to compare it, like for instance if Amari Cooper is there and he's your No. 2 player on the board and the highest rated defensive player is 7, you're probably thinking about taking No. 2 because he's a better football player obviously than No. 7.
I think people might be surprised if they go wide out there, but I would not be.
I don't think anyone that has been paying attention to our draft coverage would be surprised if the Bears went wide out at 7. I'd be OK with Cooper or White at 7, but my excitement level depends on who was also available.
Mayock had some thoughts on two Big Ten defensive backs the Bears have been linked to. First round prospect Trae Waynes, the corner from Michigan State, and Northwestern safety Ibraheim Campbell.
As far as Trae Waynes is concerned, I don't think he's rising, I think he's been there. I think he and Kevin Johnson from Wake Forest are the two cleanest corners, and they're different. I think Waynes' highest and best use is as a press corner. He's long. He's got great speed. He's a little bit stiff, but most of those long guys are. And he comes from a college program where they tackle and they're held accountable. So people perceive him to be the No. 1 press corner who is clean on and off the field.
As far as Ibraheim Campbell, you just touched on one of the guys I really like. I saw him play high school football at Chestnut Hill Academy. He's one of the smarter or smartest kids in this draft. He plays smart. He plays tough. And the perception was that he is stiff and a little tight behind. However, I thought he played well at the Senior Bowl. I thought he covered better than people thought. I think the earliest he can go is in the fourth round. I think a lot of teams have him in the fifth and sixth, but I think there's a little bit of love for him out there in the fourth round.
The Bears held a private visit with Waynes and they had Campbell in for their local pro day. Campbell (5'11", 208) was a 4 year starter at Northwestern and many scouts feel he's more of a strong safety type.
Chicago also has been linked with two of the top offensive tackle prospects, T.J. Clemmings of Pittsburgh and D.J. Humphries of Florida. Here's Mayock's take on the offensive line.
As far as the offensive line class, let me put it to you this way: After Brandon Scherff, who was a tackle at Iowa and is going to get kicked inside and will probably go in the first 10 or 12 picks, after him, there's an awful lot of question marks.
Now, it doesn't mean there's not a lot of talent, because there is. But I could take, for instance, Ereck Flowers, D.J. Humphries, Andrus Peat and T.J. Clemmings. And all are gifted first round tackles but I can poke a hole in every one of those kids, either from a technique perspective or an off the field perspective or whatever.
So what's happened this year is that after Brandon Scherff and some teams like Cam Irving who could be a center, the kid from Florida State but as far as the tackle group is concerned, man, they've been pushed down a little bit in the first round, not because of talent, but because they're not all ready to play day one.
For instance, the reason I have La'el Collins as my No. 1 tackle is because out of that whole group he's the only one where I bang the table and say: I think I know exactly what I'm getting. I'm getting a starting right tackle that can kick inside and play guard, but I'm getting a starter day one and he's a body mover, I know what I'm getting.
All those other guys have question marks, and I think they're getting pushed down to the second half of the first round.
Depending on how far down the tackles slide, either Clemmings or Humphries could be available in the 2nd round for the Bears. Chicago did seem very interested in D.J. Humphries at Florida's pro day, so here's some more Mayock on Humphries, in particular the questions over his weight.
It's actually more of a concern. He played at 287 or so, and he's a gifted foot tackle. He's got great feet. He's got starting left tackle feet.
However, he was told he needed to be heavier, he showed up at the combine at 307, and he showed up at his pro day at 307, and I'm not sure he can carry it and I'm not sure it's great weight.
You're 100 percent correct, that's one of the concerns is when you draft him in the first round, what are you really getting? Is it the 307 pound kid who's a little sloppy, or what it probably is at the end of the day in great shape and ready to go is probably about a 290 pound left tackle that's going to be an outstanding pass protector and is always going to have to work with great technique to be a good run blocker.
Another wide receiver the Bears have met with is UCF's Breshad Perriman (6'2", 212) and Mayock was asked if his pedigree -- his dad is 10-year NFL veteran Brett Perriman -- was an advantage.
DNA doesn't lie. So it's always nice to just have natural physical ability confirmed. You know it's there. I think, more importantly, there were two things you take out of that workout.
I was there. We were all buzzing about the 4.25. Doesn't really matter what the time was. It was fast. Does he play to that speed, no. That's one of the things he'll have to learn to do is to play faster.
Most of us thought that he was about a 4.5, 4.48 kind of player off the tape. Once he learns how to use his speed to set up corners, I think his upside is as dramatic as any wide receiver in this draft. So you're talking about a guy with great height, weight, and speed.
The misnomer on him was he had bad hands because he had seven or eight drops this year. My perspective, and I watched every target on tape, is that he's got great hands, just some dumb concentration drops. At his pro day, just as importantly, and maybe more so than what he ran in the 40, he caught everything. And he's a natural hand snatcher. He's in the conversation now with DeVante Parker, who is a third wide receiver off the board is, and I'd be surprised if all four of those wideouts don't go out about 20.
If the Bears are in play for Perriman or Parker, I'd be OK with them trading back into the late teens for either one of them.
With this safety class not being spoken very highly of, Mayock was asked about some collegiate cornerbacks that could make the transition to NFL safety.
Yeah, first of all, I think the first safety in this class is different than what most people think, and the first safety off the board is going to be, in my opinion, Damarious Randall from Arizona State, and he's by far the best cover safety in this draft, and two months ago he was considered a third or fourth round pick. Now he's a first round pick, and he's going ahead of Landon Collins because Collins is more of a box safety or a dime linebacker so that leads back to your question about it's such a bad safety class, and it is, which corners can convert over, and the guys that make the most sense are Eric Rowe from Utah, who I've got a second round grade on regardless of where you play him, corner or safety, and he played both in college; Quinten Rollins, the basketball player who played one year at corner for Miami of Ohio; I moved him over into my safety list, and I think he's going to go in the second round as a safety; Alex Carter from Stanford, and he's got height, weight, speed, and again, if he can do that one job of coming inside and covering tight ends, he's got a high value.
Some down the line guys, Nick Marshall, the quarterback from Auburn; Jimmy Wilson, Oklahoma, corner; Ladarius Gunter, a corner from Miami. Those are guys late in the draft, those last three guys, Adrian Amos from Penn State, another guy.
Teams are looking far and wide for safeties because the class itself is so bad, one, and number two, because the league has changed. It's a pass first league, and safeties are expected to cover first, and you'll give up a little physicality and tackling for that.
It's expected that at at some point the Bears will draft a defensive back, so keep an eye out for some of those late round prospects.
What are your thoughts of the draft nuggets from Mike Mayock?