Friday, December 26, 2014

Mayock's take on the inside linebackers

INSIDE LINEBACKER

Mayock's take on the inside linebackers

The NFL Network´s Mike Mayock compared Boston College´s Luke Kuechly to the Cowboys´ Sean Lee. (Dave Martin/AP)
The NFL Network's Mike Mayock compared Boston College's Luke Kuechly to the Cowboys' Sean Lee. (Dave Martin/AP)

INSIDE LINEBACKER

BEST

Luke Kuechly

Boston College

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6-3 ¼, 242

Arm: 31

40-yard dash: 4.58

225-bench: 27

Projected Rd.: 1 (picks 11-20)

Mayock: ``Kuechly is special. He’s innately gifted. Takes great angles. Has great instincts. And he’s the best zone pass-dropping linebacker I’ve ever seen coming out of college. If you want a comparison, it’s Sean Lee, who’s turned into a really good inside linebacker in the NFL. That’s who Kuechly’s like. He has a great feel for the game and is really good in the pass game. And let’s face it, that’s what the NFL has become – a pass-first league. Every once in a while a Kuechly or Sean Lee is going to get caught with a big body on him in the run game. But that’s the way it goes. He’ll go between 11 and 20 and is one of the safest picks in the draft.’’

RISER

Mychal Kendricks

California

5-11 1/8, 239

Arm: 31 5/8

40-yard dash: 4.47

225-bench: 24

Projected Rd.: 2

Mayock: ``The neat thing about this kid is he not only ran an impressive time at the combine, but he also was extremely productive at Cal. So the productivity lines up (with the speed). The speed is phenomenal. People are worried about his size. But I think he could start inside in both a 4-3 and 3-4. Some teams also are looking at him as a WILL.’’

SLEEPER

Jerry Franklin

Arkansas

6-1 1/8, 241

Arm: 33 ¼

40-yard dash: 4.69

225-bench: 15

Projected Rd.: 7-FA

Mayock: ``I think there ought to be a rule that if you’re a four-year starter in the SEC like this kid, you gotta get a combine invite. I mean, the guy made 50 starts in the SEC and didn’t get an invite. I know he’s a try-hard tough guy without a lot of physical ability, but I don’t care. You’re going to get him late or as a priority free agent. He’s going to be a core special teams player, and just might end up as a starter for a team some day.’’

Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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