Mayock sees action around Vikings' pick

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock thinks the Browns and Rams could be active surrounding the Vikings' No. 3 pick, setting up an ideal scenario for the Vikings. Mayock assessed the potential picks at Nos. 2, 3 and 4 in the draft.

If the Vikings are going to have their choice of any player other than a quarterback when they select third overall on April 26, they Will Likely have to get the assistance of another team trading up to No. 2 to select Baylor QB Robert Griffin III.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, like many draft observers and evaluators, believes the Cleveland Browns are the ideal candidate to obtain that second selection from the St. Louis Rams. The Browns have the No. 4 and No. 22 picks in the first round, which is fair value for the No. 2 overall pick, according to the NFL draft value chart.

"If it's me, yeah, I'm looking at that real hard. I want to go get RG III," Mayock said of the Browns potentially moving up. "I'm talking purely draft, I'm looking to move up to two, as opposed to three, because if I move to three, what if the Redskins come up to two?"

Either way, the Vikings could be in a winning position. If a quarterback-needy team moves up to No. 2 to draft Griffin, Minnesota will have its choice of the top player at any other position since the Indianapolis Colts are a near-lock to draft Stanford QB Andrew Luck first overall or trade out of that spot for another team that wants Luck.

While giving up the fourth and 22nd picks might be a hard pill to swallow for the Browns, Mayock echoed the sentiments of many NFL personnel evaluators: When you have a chance to draft a quarterback you believe in and you need one, you make it happen. If the Browns are unwilling to give up No. 22 overall, along with their No. 4 pick, to move up, Mayock called that thinking short-sighted when looking to "secure your future at the most important position in all of sports. I think they have to look to upgrade. As much as I like Colt McCoy. I think they have to look to upgrade that position and I think they have to do whatever it takes to get there."

Simply put, Mayock thinks Griffin is worth a move up, whether it's the Browns, Redskins or even the Miami Dolphins looking to move up. Griffin has some questions, according to Mayock's evaluation, but he also holds a lot of promise.

"The reality with this kid is all I see on tape, I love everything. I love everything about the kid," Mayock said. "The question I have is he doesn't throw with anticipation, mostly because he doesn't have to. In his offense (at Baylor), there is minimal footwork. They spread out so wide. He's got some talented, gifted receivers and he's got great touch and accuracy, medium and deep. He's got arm strength. He's got athletic ability. He's tough. He takes hits. But he doesn't anticipate throws. He's waits until they develop and then throws them. … My only question is will he develop that (anticipation). You won't find that at the combine. I think where you're going to find it is throughout the process when teams meet with this kid and they sit down and they put the tape on and they break it down with him and they talk football, they ask him what he sees or doesn't see."

Mayock likes Griffin's toughness and his ability to keep his vision down the field even while pressure from the defense is moving in.

"I think it will be a hell of ride," Mayock said of Griffin. "The more tape I put on of this kid, the more fun I have watching him and I was pleasantly surprised by his pocket awareness, his eyes down the field, and his physical toughness is outstanding. He takes a lot of hits and it doesn't bother him. All those things mean a lot to me. … He's going to have to learn to anticipate and get the ball out of his hands more quickly so he doesn't continue to take those kind of hits. But the bottom line for me is that he's a playmaker. Bottom line, he's a playmaker and that's what this league is all about, especially at that position."

So what if the Rams don't trade out of the No. 2 overall pick and have to make their own selection there? That could cut into a couple of obvious needs for the Vikings – left tackle and wide receiver. USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil is top-rated at his position, as is Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Like the Vikings, the Rams could use help at both of those positions.

"They're the two logical guys. You probably could throw a corner in there also, the (Morris Claiborne) kid from LSU. I think Blackmon and Kalil are the two most logical," Mayock said if the Rams stay at No. 2. "Kalil is a wonderfully gifted left tackle. He's got great feet, long arms. He fits the bill for the athleticism look for an all-pro left tackle. What he doesn't have yet is the core strength that you're going to look for that he'll have two or three years from now. Every once in a while he gets bull-rushed. Every once in a while at the point of attack he's going to struggle, but he does what the NFL demands from their left tackles, which is he ultimately will be an exceptional pass protector.

"As far as Blackmon is concerned, I think you have to look at him a little bit like Larry Fitzgerald a few years ago. I don't think he's going to run a great 40. I think he's going to run a 4.5 or a 4.52, somewhere in there. I think you're going to have to say that's OK because he's big, he's physical. He's got tremendous body control and tremendous ball skills. I don't think you're going to see a guy that wows you with vertical speed, but his body control, hands, ability to catch the football are exceptional."

But the Rams could trade down from No. 2 to No. 4 and very likely still get either Blackmon or Kalil – whichever one isn't picked by the Vikings. It's an ideal scenario for the Rams, just like their trading down would be for the Vikings.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"If the Vikings are going to have their choice of any player other than a quarterback when they select third overall on April 26, they Will Likely have to get the assistance of another team trading up to No. 2 to select Baylor QB Robert Griffin III.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, like many draft observers and evaluators, believes the Cleveland Browns are the ideal candidate to obtain that second selection from the St. Louis Rams. The Browns have the No. 4 and No. 22 picks in the first round, which is fair value for the No. 2 overall pick, according to the NFL draft value chart.

\"If it's me, yeah, I'm looking at that real hard. I want to go get RG III,\" Mayock said of the Browns potentially moving up. \"I'm talking purely draft, I'm looking to move up to two, as opposed to three, because if I move to three, what if the Redskins come up to two?\"

Either way, the Vikings could be in a winning position. If a quarterback-needy team moves up to No. 2 to draft Griffin, Minnesota will have its choice of the top player at any other position since the Indianapolis Colts are a near-lock to draft Stanford QB Andrew Luck first overall or trade out of that spot for another team that wants Luck.

While giving up the fourth and 22nd picks might be a hard pill to swallow for the Browns, Mayock echoed the sentiments of many NFL personnel evaluators: When you have a chance to draft a quarterback you believe in and you need one, you make it happen. If the Browns are unwilling to give up No. 22 overall, along with their No. 4 pick, to move up, Mayock called that thinking short-sighted when looking to \"secure your future at the most important position in all of sports. I think they have to look to upgrade. As much as I like Colt McCoy. I think they have to look to upgrade that position and I think they have to do whatever it takes to get there.\"

Simply put, Mayock thinks Griffin is worth a move up, whether it's the Browns, Redskins or even the Miami Dolphins looking to move up. Griffin has some questions, according to Mayock's evaluation, but he also holds a lot of promise.

\"The reality with this kid is all I see on tape, I love everything. I love everything about the kid,\" Mayock said. \"The question I have is he doesn't throw with anticipation, mostly because he doesn't have to. In his offense (at Baylor), there is minimal footwork. They spread out so wide. He's got some talented, gifted receivers and he's got great touch and accuracy, medium and deep. He's got arm strength. He's got athletic ability. He's tough. He takes hits. But he doesn't anticipate throws. He's waits until they develop and then throws them. … My only question is will he develop that (anticipation). You won't find that at the combine. I think where you're going to find it is throughout the process when teams meet with this kid and they sit down and they put the tape on and they break it down with him and they talk football, they ask him what he sees or doesn't see.\"

Mayock likes Griffin's toughness and his ability to keep his vision down the field even while pressure from the defense is moving in.

\"I think it will be a hell of ride,\" Mayock said of Griffin. \"The more tape I put on of this kid, the more fun I have watching him and I was pleasantly surprised by his pocket awareness, his eyes down the field, and his physical toughness is outstanding. He takes a lot of hits and it doesn't bother him. All those things mean a lot to me. … He's going to have to learn to anticipate and get the ball out of his hands more quickly so he doesn't continue to take those kind of hits. But the bottom line for me is that he's a playmaker. Bottom line, he's a playmaker and that's what this league is all about, especially at that position.\"

So what if the Rams don't trade out of the No. 2 overall pick and have to make their own selection there? That could cut into a couple of obvious needs for the Vikings – left tackle and wide receiver. USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil is top-rated at his position, as is Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Like the Vikings, the Rams could use help at both of those positions.

\"They're the two logical guys. You probably could throw a corner in there also, the (Morris Claiborne) kid from LSU. I think Blackmon and Kalil are the two most logical,\" Mayock said if the Rams stay at No. 2. \"Kalil is a wonderfully gifted left tackle. He's got great feet, long arms. He fits the bill for the athleticism look for an all-pro left tackle. What he doesn't have yet is the core strength that you're going to look for that he'll have two or three years from now. Every once in a while he gets bull-rushed. Every once in a while at the point of attack he's going to struggle, but he does what the NFL demands from their left tackles, which is he ultimately will be an exceptional pass protector.

\"As far as Blackmon is concerned, I think you have to look at him a little bit like Larry Fitzgerald a few years ago. I don't think he's going to run a great 40. I think he's going to run a 4.5 or a 4.52, somewhere in there. I think you're going to have to say that's OK because he's big, he's physical. He's got tremendous body control and tremendous ball skills. I don't think you're going to see a guy that wows you with vertical speed, but his body control, hands, ability to catch the football are exceptional.\"

But the Rams could trade down from No. 2 to No. 4 and very likely still get either Blackmon or Kalil – whichever one isn't picked by the Vikings. It's an ideal scenario for the Rams, just like their trading down would be for the Vikings.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.


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