flgreen Posted April 23, 2015 Share Posted April 23, 2015 Mike Mayock thinks Jets should 'sprint' to draft Marcus Mariota if he falls to them PrintEmail By Darryl Slater | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on April 23, 2015 at 2:25 PM, updated April 23, 2015 at 3:43 PM Mike Mayock, the NFL Network's chief draft analyst, won't publish his first (and only) mock draft until Wednesday night, on the eve of the draft. But on Thursday, Mayock offered some thoughts about how the Jets could wind up landing Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, presuming they really want him. During a conference call with reporters, Mayock said he doesn't necessarily think Mariota will be gone by the time the Jets' pick comes up at No. 6, though plenty of mock drafts have projected Mariota to be picked second, by either the Titans or a team that trades up. Mayock also believes there is no way the Jets should pass on Mariota if he falls to them at No. 6. "Personally, and I don't know a thing about it, in the [Jets'] building," Mayock said of the Jets' opinion about Mariota. "Just personally, if he got to six, I'd sprint that thing up there." Mayock was referring to the process of a team turning in its draft card. The presumption now is that there's a good chance Mariota could be selected before No. 6. But that's not a lock in Mayock's mind. "I don't presume anything, especially with quarterbacks, because if Tennessee doesn't take him at two, and it's too rich a trading environment for anybody to get there, then you know Mariota is not going three or four, because Jacksonville and Oakland both have young quarterbacks," Mayock said. "That puts him at No. 5. And Washington is interesting because obviously there's been a rub with the organization and [Robert Griffin III]. If I'm the Jets and you really like Mariota, a) you think about going from six to two, you think about going six to five, just to guarantee nobody else can jump you. Cleveland could go from 12 to five without giving up a first-round pick. "So if I'm the Jets at six, and [Mariota] gets past Oakland at four, then I'd be on the phone with Washington, saying, 'Hey, what's it going to take to move one spot?' Just to guarantee I could get the kid. And Washington would love that because they could definitely have a player they wanted [with the sixth pick], plus pick up a second- or third-round pick by moving down one [spot in the first round, via the trade with the Jets]. [Mariota] could be there [at No. 6]. It all depends what happens at two. If he doesn't go to two, to anybody, he's going to get to five." Mayock said that if he worked in the Titans' front office, he would "much rather continue to develop around" second-year quarterback Zach Mettenberger, "as opposed to drafting a rookie quarterback, unless I felt like the rookie quarterback was significantly better — at which point, you've got to take him." Mayock believes that if the Titans don't trade their pick to a team like the Jets or the Chargers, Southern California defensive lineman Leonard Williams "makes the most sense" for the Titans to draft at No. 2 — not Mariota. ESPN's lead draft analyst, Mel Kiper Jr., had previously said that trading up from No. 6 to No. 2 could be prohibitively costly for the Jets. Mayock pretty much agrees. "That's a hard one," he said. "Trading up to two is a big deal, because if you look at the old trade value chart, one through four have by far the highest value. And then there's a precipitous drop to No. 5. Now, I'm not saying every team uses the trade chart. But it's a basis to start [trade] conversation. So trying to get up to two is really hard, unless you have an existing player like San Diego with [quarterback] Philip Rivers, or perhaps Philadelphia has with [quarterback] Sam Bradford. If you want to go from 12 to two, it's really expensive. "In other words, Cleveland, they'd be giving up a first-round pick, and I'm not sure they want to do that. [The Browns draft 12th and 19th in the first round this year.] If I'm Cleveland, I'd much rather wait and see if [Mariota] got to five, and move 12 to five. I wouldn't have to come out of pocket for the [other] first-round pick. So when I'm looking at teams trying to come up to two, really, it's got to be somebody fairly close. Would the New York Jets do that? Um, I'm not sure. Because if [Mariota] gets by two, he's going to get to five. So for me, it's an intriguing conversation, because unless you have an existing quarterback you can use [in a trade] to get up to two, it's hard to get there with draft picks." If the Jets can't land Mariota, for whatever reason, Mayock thinks they'll go with an edge pass rusher at No. 6. "As far as their needs beyond quarterback, I think they've got to be looking at edge," Mayock said. "Calvin Pace is 34. [Jason] Babin is [going on] 35. They need a young dude. They need somebody that can get after the quarterback naturally, and at that point [with the sixth pick], several of those guys are going to be available." Mayock believes Florida's Dante Fowler Jr. will be picked before No. 6. Mayock doesn't think Nebraska's Randy Gregory will be picked very early, because of character concerns. (Gregory has admitted to testing positive for marijuana.) Mayock said Clemson's Vic Beasley "has some questions about whether or not he can set an edge in the run game." Kentucky's Bud Dupree "is a guy that's been climbing [draft stock] charts because he's 270 pounds." Mayock also mentioned Missouri's Shane Ray, who reportedly might need to undergo foot surgery. "So at six, they've got an opportunity, if they want it, to go after whoever they perceive to be the top edge guy on their board," Mayock said. He said the Jets' next most important need would be offensive line, but unless they're going to draft Iowa's Brandon Scherff (a tackle who projects as an NFL guard), then picking an offensive lineman at No. 6 would be "too high." 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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