Draft Guru and NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock participated in a marathon conference call today in which he discussed many of the players available in the 2014 draft as well as some fits with teams.
When discussing the Oakland Raiders, Mayock was fairly succinct and direct with the teams’ needs, saying that Oakland needs a Quarterback and football players. This is right in line with what the Raiders coaches and front office have said themselves – that they lack both elite players and depth at essentially every position.
Mayock further said that he thinks that the Quarterback position makes the most sense for the Raiders “if they believe in one.”
The quarterback that Mayock thinks is the most ready to contribute is Teddy Bridgewater, who was the consensus top quarterback through most of the 2013 college football season.
Mayock has Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel as his number two quarterback saying that Manziel “is different than any quarterback I’ve ever [evaluated]. But I believe in the kid.”
UCF’s Blake Bortles, who has garnered a lot of attention through draft enthusiasts, bloggers and former scouts/front office executives on Twitter recently, did not get Mayock’s vote of approval as an immediate starter, however.
Mayock weighed in on Bortles, who has prototypical size for the position but lacks polish and came from a spread offense system in college, saying that he felt Bortles was the least developed of the top 3 QBs.
Fresno State’s Derek Carr, who some believe is also a first round pick, also didn’t get much praise from Mayock who simply said that teams are trying to get to know more about him at this point.
Regarding another possible Raiders pick, former Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, Mayock admitted that although he rarely gets excited evaluating a player, Watkins excited him on tape.
The conference call was in preparation for the Scouting Combine which starts tomorrow in Indianapolis.