Mike Mayock serves as draft expert for NFL Network. He was a defensive back at Boston College and spent two years with the New York Giants (1982-83). Mayock has questioned the hands of Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and addressed that issue, among others, in a conference call with national media. Here are a few excerpts from the call:
Would Darrius Heyward-Bey be a risk pick in the top half of the first round?
Mayock: The only way he goes in the top half of the first round is if the Raiders pull the trigger [at No. 7]. He fits Al Davis' demographics for any pick: height, weight and speed, with an emphasis on speed. That's Al Davis. If Al doesn't take him, I think he does slide.
Is he a player the Ravens should look at if he falls to 26?
Mayock: The Ravens have to be looking for a wide receiver. He fits what they should be looking for, a vertical threat who could help Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams and Derrick Mason. [ Joe] Flacco has a huge arm. The only question [about Heyward-Bey] is, is he a natural catcher of the football? He makes a great catch one play, then double catches on an easy play. If I'm expending a first-round pick on a wide receiver, the most important qualifications at that position are great hands.What's the difference between quarterbacks Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman?
Mayock: The bottom line for me is [identifying] guys that can process information and get the ball where it belongs 100 percent of the time. You don't have to have a big arm for me. I want consistency in the decision-making process. I want accuracy. Sanchez is the most accurate of the three. In the USC offense, you see him make every throw you can make at the NFL level.
If I've got a top 10 pick and my job is on the line at the quarterback position, I'm taking Sanchez. The quarterback position is the most important position in the NFL. You better beat the table and believe in the guy. I believed in [Matt] Ryan last year. I don't feel the same about Stafford.
Should the Browns trade Braylon Edwards or Brady Quinn?
Mayock: If it's up to me, nobody's off limits. If you're [Cleveland general manager] George Kokinis or [coach] Eric Mangini, why not? You've got a five-year window to mold the team any way you want. If you can off-load Edwards' contract and get significant returns, you've got to look at it. At quarterback, you've got to decide what you want to do. There are rumors they like Sanchez. You've got to be open for business, look to generate additional picks.
Where do you see Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith going?
Mayock: He very logically could be the pick at six [ Cincinnati Bengals]. I think the top three tackles are gone early. I'm convinced and I think the NFL is convinced that most of what we saw at the combine was more about immaturity than him being a bad kid. He needs to grow up and take things more seriously. He's a talented kid.
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