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Few people know what’s going on with this year’s draft better than NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, who spent last week at the league’s annual scouting combine and has viewed hundreds … maybe thousands … of hours of videotape of this year’s draft-eligible players.
So when we wanted to get the lowdown on the 2018 draft we reached out to the peripatetic Mayock, who joined us for this week’s Talk of Fame Network podcast and told us how many quarterbacks he has among the top five players on his board — at least, as that board stands today.
Let’s just say the Jets have been to more Super Bowls.
“Basically,” said Mayock, “I wouldn’t put a quarterback in the top five. I think the two best position players are (Penn State running back) Saquon Barkley and the guard from Notre Dame, Quenton Nelson.
“Now, after that, I would tell you that probably … and, again, forget quarterbacks for a second … I would tell you that the next seven or eight players on my board would probably be defensive players. And in that group it would be Bradley Chubb and Vita Vea, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Irwin James, probably Tremaine Edmunds and Denzel Ward, Roquan Smith.
“Last year was the heaviest defensive drafts we’ve ever had — I think 63 of the first 107. We had 107 in the first three rounds; 63 of them were on defense. And again I think the high-level players … outside of the quarterbacks … are going to be defensive players.”
Now, let’s make something clear: That doesn’t mean Mayock doesn’t think a quarterback will be drafted with the first five picks. One almost surely will be … and probably two. But it does mean that he thinks the most talented players –again, simply the most attractive overall — are not at that position.
Like most people, Mayock has USC’s Sam Darnold and Wyoming’s Josh Allen as his top two quarterbacks. But he’s not a Josh Rosen fan. In fact, he has a surprise “dark horse” at the third quarterback position, and no spoiler alerts here. To find out who that quarterback is, just click on to the following hyperlink: