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Mike Mayock talks 2013 NFL Draft

In a pre-combine conference call NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock offers insights on several players and positions that should interest New York Giants fans.

Mike Mayock
Mike Mayock
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Mayock, draft guru for the NFL Network, held a pre-combine conference call with media on Monday regarding the 2013 NFL Draft. Mayock was not directly asked any questions about the New York Giants, but plenty of things he said during his chat with reporters can be useful to Giants' fans. Following are some of the highlights of Mayock's call, from a Giants' perspective.

On BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah ...

"He's got as much upside as anybody in this draft."

"I just think he's so raw sometime it's can't come out. I don't think there is anybody on the in the NFL that doesn't think he's going to be a good player. But the question is when? Is it this year, next year or three years from now?"

"I'm willing to bet on the kid. I think he's going to go earlier than later. When you get these kind of guys, and [Jason Pierre-Paul], he's way more raw than JPP was a couple years ago. People want to use that comparison, but he's not there yet. But I think he's going to become a good player."

On defensive ends beyond the first round ...

"Tank Carradine, the quote "other" defensive end at Florida State who had a medical issue, he probably had first-round talent. He's probably going to go in the second or third round, and somebody's going to get a steal with this kid because of his natural upside. Alex Okafor from Texas is a second or third-round guy."

On Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree ...

"You want to talk about a kid that's made for the NFL game with an ability to drop and cover, a former safety. He's fun to watch on tape. He flies. He's explosive. He's not great against the run, but, boy, in today's NFL spread offenses, he's a great fit. But given the off the field issues and the D.U.I. recently he's going to be one of the more intriguing guys to follow throughout the draft."

"... if he was clean off the field I'd be banging the table for a top 10 pick."

On Alabama right guard Chance Warmack ...

"Chance Warmack from Alabama is the best football player I saw on tape this year. And Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina is just a tiny notch behind him. As a matter of fact, Cooper's probably a better athlete."

On Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker ...

"He's a right tackle only, but I think he's going to be special down the road."

" ... right tackle is an interesting thing because right tackle only, if you're being drafted as a right tackle only, that is an awkward place to be. Because if you're only a right tackle, it means you better be the starter or you're going to get cut because you can only carry typically seven or eight guys on game day."

On the top free safeties available ...

"I'm a big believer [Kenny] Vaccaro is going to be gone in the top 20. I think Matt Elam is kind of a late one to mid two, and I think Johnathan Cyprien from Florida International is a guy you ought to be looking really closely at. He had a great Senior Bowl week. I've got him as my number three safety. I think he's a guy that's going to be around somewhere in that middle to end of the second round."

Tight ends at the top of the draft ...

"There are three guys at the top of this class that are very similar. [Tyler] Eifert, [Zach] Ertz, and [Gavin] Escobar from San Diego State. All of them are 6-foot-6, plus or minus 250 [pounds]. And it will be interesting to see how the three run against each other, because they're all clumped together by most So my perspective, you watch Ertz, and they move him all over the field. What's he run? Is he a 4.68 guy or a 4.53 guy? And I think the speed will be important for all three of those tight ends."

On Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson ...

"The Richardson kid is exciting. At 300 pounds, to me, he had movement skills of a 250-pound linebacker. Missouri actually stood him up. How often do you see a defensive tackle standing up and playing a linebacker position at 30 pounds? So, obviously, Missouri and Dave Steckel were highly impressed with this kid's athletic ability. He's really gifted. I mean, he's probably more gifted than the Utah kid [Star Lotulelei] also.

"I think his natural position is the three-technique, which is that defensive tackle and the four-man front. But it's not the only position he can play. You can move him around and I think just about all 32 teams in the league could find a way to utilize his skill set. He's really exciting. He's got a ton of upside, and he's as physically gifted a defensive player as there is in this draft."

On the inside linebacker class ...

"I think there is a dropoff after the top three. I think [Alec] Ogletree, [Manti] Te'o, and [Kevin] Minter from LSU are exceptional linebackers and you could give all three of them a first round grade. After that, there is a dropoff. You have Kevin Reddick, Kiko Alonso, Bostic. So you're either going to get one of those top three guys or wait a couple rounds and get into the third and fourth round and pick up some of those other guys."