Huskies Draft Talk: Mike Mayock

For many football fans, Mike Mayock is not only the expert voice for the NFL Network, he's also their lead analyst when it comes to the yearly NFL Draft. With the NFL Draft Scouting Combine workouts starting Saturday in Indianapolis, including the tight ends, Mayock took some time this week with reporters to talk about the various prospects expected to perform.

"From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I've probably seen in 10 years," Mayock said. "That's been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts that I've talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top-20 pick this year is very similar to having a top-10 pick last year. I think there's more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked this year and you can get a quality player through three or four rounds."

Included in those positions are two Washington players - TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and RB Bishop Sankey - both of whom Mayock expects to see go early in the 2014 NFL Draft. Here is what he had to say about both players.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - "Austin Seferian-Jenkins from Washington…oh my goodness does he have a good throwing radius," said Mayock, who added that he has the talented junior from Gig Harbor No. 2 on his big board of tight ends behind North Carolina's Eric Ebron and ahead of Texas Tech's Jace Amaro. "But is he going to run in the 4.7 range?

Mayock was asked about the possibility of New England taking a tight end, and he said it depends on which kind of tight end they want - a Rob Gronkowski type, or an Aaron Hernandez type. "Seferian-Jenkins, for lack of a better term, is built a lot like Gronkowski," Mayock said.

He was then asked whether or not ASJ would do better in specific systems, or can he play in any scheme? "I think Seferian-Jenkins can play in any scheme," said Mayock. "You can line him up in-line…and by the way, he should be a better blocker than he is, given his size. But he's athletic enough to block. I think he's tough enough to block. It's just that, at Washington, he was split out so often I don't think he developed as much as he could have as a blocker. He's also pretty darn good for being a 275-pound tight end…he can split out, he can play in the slot. I was just impressed with his catching radius, his ability to use his body against defenders, his ability to twist in the air and catch the football. He's got great hands, makes contested catches. I don't think it matters what the scheme is. I've got him as my second tight end and a first-round pick."
Bishop Sankey - Sankey reminds Mayock of Giovani Bernard, the younger brother of former Oregon State running back Yvenson Bernard. Giovani played his college football at North Carolina and was picked 37th overall - in the second round - by the Cincinnati Bengals. Mayock has Sankey third in his overall RB Draft Rankings behind Ohio State's Carlos Hyde and LSU's Jeremy Hill. As a side note, Mayock does not have Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey in his top-5 prospects.

Mayock feels Sankey has a similar draft status, but will be looking for one specific aspect of Sankey's game to determine if that projection will hold. Sankey and the other running backs invited to the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine will take the field Sunday.

"I kind of felt like he's a great combination of make-you-miss and north-south production," Mayock said of Sankey. "He's tough, but he can make you miss in the open field. He's got really good balance, quickness and instincts. An aggressive cut blocker in pass protection. He's a tough kid that will finish. Bottom line from me; I just need to see him catch the ball more. I need to get comfortable with his hands, and if so he's a second-round pick. I really like his upside."

For continuing coverage of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, you can click HERE for all the latest news and notes coming out of Indianapolis


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