INDIANAPOLIS—NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock believes the read-option offense is here to stay.
"Yeah, it is. I'm a big believer in exceptional quarterback play. The whole key is you don't need to run it 20 times a game. The quarterback would probably get hurt. Just the threat of it changes how the defensive coordinator calls the game," Mayock said during an interview with reporters at the scouting combine on Sunday.
The top-rated quarterback in this draft class, West Virginia's Geno Smith (pictured), is a candidate to run the read-option in the NFL. Mayock was complimentary of Smith's decision to participate in Sunday's workout, instead of resting on his ranking.
"He flashed everything you want to see in a franchise quarterback. I'm really happy he did this. It shows he's not afraid," Mayock said, then qualified his remarks with this: "There are too many inconsistencies on tape for Kansas City to take him (at No. 1 overall). I have trouble banging the drum for any of (the quarterbacks)."
Mayock also made these comments on:
West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, who ran a 4.25 40 on Sunday—"Worst case to me is he's a second-round pick. The NFL has evolved more and more into a college look. He's a difficult matchup and that's what the league is."
Georgia defensive end/outside linebacker Jarvis Jones—"I think he's a top 10 pick. If you're not tall, not long, you better be explosive." Jones is explosive, but concern that a neck injury could shorten his career might cause Jones' stock to fall.
West Virginia wide receiver Steadman Bailey—"I'd be surprised if he gets out of the third round." Bailey ran a slow 40 but Mayock said Bailey's natural pass-catching skill will attract teams.
Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson—"Can we trust him to develop?" Mayock said the answer to that question will determine where Patterson is selected.
Lack of stars in this draft vs. the draft's depth of talent—"If you're drafting 20-30, it's not a whole lot different than a top 10 pick. If you're sitting back as a playoff team, you're thinking this is pretty good."
UCLA defensive end Datone Jones—"I think he fits best as a defensive end in a 3-4."
Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd—"(He) might be one of the two, three best players in this draft, but where are you going to line him up?"
Oregon outside linebacker Dion Jordan—"I think (he) could be an Aldon Smith type of player, but he's got to put 20 pounds on."
Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher—"I thought (he) closed the gap at the Senior Bowl. I don't see a whole lot of difference between (Texas A&M's Luke) Joeckel and Fisher."
Top seven players—"Four of them are offensive linemen and three of them are defensive linemen, and I know that (angers) all of you because that's not very sexy."
Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson—"I think this is a guy for whom the sky's the limit."
Brigham Young defensive end Ziggy Ansah—"You're betting on the upside. You can't question his movement, size and motor. Jason Pierre-Paul was further along. Ansah is even rawer than JPP. A team like San Francisco might say we're pretty good, we can take time to develop him."
Safeties in the draft—"I think it's a great safety class. All of the nonsexy positions are deep this year. I'd be surprised if (Texas' Kenny) Vaccaro gets past the top 15 picks."
USC safety T.J. McDonald—"I'm not a big McDonald guy. I don't like his movement skills. I think he's more of a fourth-round guy."
Defensive linemen and linebackers work out on Monday, and the defensive backs close out the combine on Tuesday. Additional coverage - Sunday at the combine