Mayock Talks Manziel, Bridgewater, Clowney

NFL Network’s resident draft guru Mike Mayock shined some light on the upcoming NFL player selection meeting with Steve Serby of the New York Post. We’ve parsed the best quotes for your reading pleasure below…

On the difficulty of evaluating Johnny Manziel: 

“I think he’s the most different quarterback evaluation I’ve ever had to do. No. 1 is his style on the field, and No. 2, is off the field. And you have to buy into both to say that he’s a franchise quarterback. I love watching this kid play, and I think whatever “it” is, he has “it.” I think he’s got a little bit of that edge with a Lawrence Taylor, a Warren Sapp where Sundays, he’s gonna show up and want to be the best player on the field every Sunday. However, you’re gonna have to deal with some of his off-the-field stuff, and you’re gonna have to try to get him to develop into a pocket passer also. Put a gun to my head, and say I can take only one quarterback and I have to take one in the top 10, he would be my guy.”

On the lack of an “it factor” with Teddy Bridgewater:

“Yeah, that’s one of the harder ones for me just because basically, you go to a kid’s Pro Day at the quarterback position to confirm what you’ve seen on tape. And he’s the only top-level quarterback I’ve seen in 10 years, where I haven’t been able to confirm in person what I saw on tape. I think ultimately he’s gonna be a good quarterback in the league, but I think he’s a year or two away from being able to accept the challenge.”

On Jadeveon Clowney’s pro prospects:

“He’s easy on tape to evaluate. I keep saying that when he woke up this morning, he was the most talented defensive lineman in the world. That doesn’t necessarily translate into the best defensive lineman, unless he has the work ethic and the edge to want to prove that. And when you hand him $20 million guaranteed, will he? So, I think the jury is still out on the kid, but it certainly isn’t out on the talent.”

On potential trade activity in the first round of the draft:

“I think that the first three or four teams would love to trade down. The perception is this draft is so good and so talented, let’s go get some more picks. The reality of this draft is that certain positions are very thin — defensive tackle, edge rusher … offensive tackle, it drops off after about 8 or 9. So I think we’re gonna see some different places in the draft where there’s a run on a particular position. And I think early in the draft in that top 10, it’ll be interesting to see if Atlanta or somebody comes up to try and get Clowney.”

On the chances the Cowboys take Manziel at No. 16 if he’s there:

“I don’t know. That to me is really interesting. They got a 34-year-old quarterback coming off his second back surgery, and they’ve got a hometown hero and an owner that’s not afraid of making a splash. So, you add all that up, and if they got on the clock and Manziel is available. … I think there’d be a greater than 50/50 chance they pull the trigger on him.”

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