Q&A with NFL Network's Mayock

He provides his thoughts on Orakpo vs. Brown, some top prospects and other key issues at the NFL Scouting Combine.

NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock wrapped up the action from the Scouting Combine on Sunday evening here at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. Here are some excerpts:

Can you compare defensive ends Brian Orakpo and Everette Brown?: I think Orakpo is bigger, stronger more physical and has a better history of productive. I think Everette Brown is a one-year starter. He's not quite as explosive off the edge as Orakpo or Larry English. I like Orakpo better.

On the running backs' 40-yard times: The running back class today didn't run very well. The wideouts ran great. When you compare the height, weight, speed of the running backs the last two years today, I think you see completely different players. I'm not saying they're bad football players. It's not a track meet, but speed is important.

Last year, we had 230-, 235-pound running backs running 4.4. Today, Chris Wells ran in the high 4.5s. Knowshon Moreno, I came in here questioning whether he had long speed. I still see a great back and I'm not going to change my ranking, but he ran in the high 4.5s.

What the 40 tells me with running backs is go check the tape again. With Beanie Wells, I think he's explosive. He's got lower-body explosion. He's not going to run away from a corner. What he will do is run over that corner.

On Alabama left tackle Andre Smith, who inexplicably decided to skip testing and go home without telling officials: Best-case scenario, you've got a case a young, immature kid that made a mistake. That's how some teams will look at it. Worst-case scenario is you have the beginning of a lot of behavior that you want to deal with over the next five years of a contract and you take him off your board. I think most of the teams will be somewhere in the middle. He'll go to the Pro Day and probably look great.

On Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree's decision to run at his Pro Day next month before having surgery on a stress fracture in his foot, which will keep him out for eight to 10 weeks and cost him a minicamp: I came in here expecting a 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver that would run plus or minus 4.5. And what I have is a 6-1 3/8 wide receiver who didn't run because of injury. It still doesn't change how I feel and what I saw on tape. He's a great football player. He's not Larry Fitzgerald as far as size. But he's a great football player.

I think he's trying to show people, ‘I'm not afraid to run.' I give him credit for that. On the other hand, I have a feeling, from a common-sense perspective, that his doctors and advisers will say, ‘Let's rethink this thing. There's enough tape out there. You're a talented kid in everybody's mind. You're not all of a sudden going to be a third-round pick. Let's just move forward.'

On the tight ends: The tight end class I think is phenomenal. That's with the caveat that there are the athletic kids coming out of the spread offenses in college football. There aren't many in-line blockers. It's mostly the vertical guys. The question mark was (Oklahoma State's) Brandon Pettigrew. I was surprised he ran a 4.85. It doesn't change one iota what I think he is. I still think he's plus or minus Jason Witten.

What sixth-/seventh-round quarterback prospect was impressive? I thought Stephen McGee from Texas A&M. It's kind of interesting. Jon Gruden and I said at a different commercials, ‘Who is that?' It was Stephen McGee. I like him.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com.

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