For the 12th straight year, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock will break down each of the positions in the draft for the Daily News, providing his assessment of the best player at each position, as well as his top riser and sleeper. Mayock, 54, resides in Newtown Square and is a graduate of the Haverford School. He was a tenth-round pick of the Steelers in 1981 and played two seasons with the Giants (1982-83). I’ll run his assessments in the days leading up to the April 25 draft, starting today with the quarterbacks:
Geno Smith, West Virginia (6-2, 218)
Hands: 9 1/4 inches
Round Projection: 1
Mayock: "He has all of the components of a franchise quarterback, but is not consistent enough on tape for me. He doesn’t have very good pocket awareness. He had something like 32 fumbles at West Virginia.
"He has no awareness of the rush surrounding him. I don’t sense a feel in the pocket to slide and move at all. I don’t sense an internal clock when he’s standing inside his own five-yard line. Common sense things I’d love to see and don’t.
"His deep-ball accuracy is erratic. I mean really erratic. Guys wide open (that he missed). Six to eight touchdowns that he threw away this year. He played horribly in the Bowl game in the snow (Pinstripe Bowl) and he also played poorly in the cold and wind at Iowa State. I’m not sure what that means other than it disturbs me. For me, there’s a bunch of different red flags, and it doesn’t add up to a top-10 quarterback. Or even top 20."
Tyler Bray, Tennessee (6-6, 232)
Hands: 9 1/4 inches
Round Projection: 2-3
Mayock: "I think people are starting to recognize his arm talent and are digging deeper into what kind of kid he is, which was the knock. He’s got big-time arm talent. There’s no way he’ll get out of the third round, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he went in the second."
Sean Renfree, Duke (6-3, 219)
Hands: 9 inches
Round Projection: 5-6
Mayock: "He hurt his shoulder on the last snap of their bowl game and might not even get drafted. But he’s got the best anticipation and time of any quarterback in this draft. Part of it is because he’s got an average arm and has to. (Duke head coach) David Cutliffe told me that Sean approaches the game with a work ethic and passion similar to Peyton Manning’s."