Mike Mayock analyzes defensive NFL draft prospects

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Defensive lineman Joey Bosa of Ohio State participates in a drill during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

NFL NETWORK draft analyst Mike Mayock once again shares his views on top draft prospects with Daily News sports writer Paul Domowitch. He assesses the best player at each position, as well as a player who is rising up the draft board and a late-round sleeper to keep an eye on later in the draft. Mayock, 57, resides in Newtown Square and is a graduate of the Haverford School and Boston College. A former safety, he was a 10th-round pick of the Steelers in 1981 and played two seasons with the Giants (1982-83).

EDGE RUSHER

THE BEST

Joey Bosa

6-5, 269

Ohio State

40-time: 4.78

225 Bench: 28

Round Projection: 1

Mayock: "Forget all of the numbers with this kid. He's one of the more sophisticated edge rushers I've seen come out in a while. He's got great hand use. He understands how to set up an offensive tackle. He's tremendous against the run. Everybody talks about his motor. Some people say that he's been so well coached and his technique is so good, how much upside does he have? Should he be a top-five or top-10 pick? My feeling is he's going to start for you Day 1. He's going to bring an intensity and an edge to it. And he has just enough speed and athletic ability to threaten a tackle to set up what he does best, which is power moves and inside moves. He's athletic enough that he could play in a 3-4 (as an outside linebacker), even though he's a natural 4-3 end. I've watched him drop (into coverage). I saw him make a play against Minnesota where he dropped into coverage, tracked the quarterback's eyes, drove on the ball and broke up a pass. Does he have 'wow' edge speed? No. But he has size, good speed, heavy hands, toughness and a motor."

THE RISER

Emmanuel Ogbah

6-4, 273

Oklahoma State

40-time: 4.56

225 Bench: 20

Round Projection: 1-2

Mayock: "He's a polarizing player. There are some people that don't like him because he's got some bad tape. On the other hand, the reason I say he's rising is because there are a core group of teams out there that look at him and say, 'Wow, he could really be something.' He's really tight-hipped. Some of his tape is very average. But he's so big and explosive that there are a lot of defensive line coaches who can't wait to get their hands on him. Basically, what they want to do is get him in situational pass-rush and say, 'Forget everything else. Just go as hard as you can at the quarterback.' Teach him some simple techniques and just get him to play hard every snap for 40 snaps a game to start with. There are pluses and minuses to this kid. But there's no doubt he's powerful and explosive. And in a four-man front coming off the edge with a little bit of help as far as technique, he'd be a handful."

THE SLEEPER

Victor Ochi

6-1, 246

Stony Brook

40-time: 4.86

225 Bench: N/A

Round Projection: 4-5

Mayock: "He's a guy I really like. He's not very big, but he has 34-inch arms, which makes him longer than his height would indicate. He has great get-off. Nobody could block him at the East-West game practices in the one-on-one drills. He has some toughness. He's not an every-down player. You can't put him out there and let an offensive tackle block him in the run game because he would just get covered up and moved out of the way. He's a situational pass-rusher who has to use his quickness and arm-length."

INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINE

THE BEST

DeForest Buckner

6-7, 291

Oregon

40-time: 5.00

225 Bench: 21

Round Projection: 1

Mayock: "Think Calais Campbell. He's 6-7, 291 with 34 1/2-inch arms. He's so powerful and explosive. He's scheme-diverse. The 3-4 teams are salivating over him as a 5-technique. But in sub-packages, you could move him up and down the line. He's a mismatch because he's so powerful. I think he could be one of the better players out of this draft for the next 10 years. If he goes to a 4-3 team, he could play inside or outside. He can line up outside in run situations in your base defense and then kick inside in your sub-package. This kid is not Arik Armstead (another Oregon defensive lineman taken in the first round last year by the 49ers). He's much more explosive, much more powerful than Armstead. He plays harder. He'll be a top-10 pick."

THE RISER

Javon Hargrave

6-1, 309

South Carolina State

40-time: 4.93

225 Bench: 29

Round Projection: 3

Mayock: "He has a 34 1/2-inch vertical (jump), which is ridiculous for a 309-pound guy. He was unblockable at the East-West game. I went back and watched him play against Clemson in 2014 and he was very good against them. His tape is good, his quickness and explosion is outstanding. And because the NFL has had a lot of recent success with some of those quick one-gap penetrators inside, he fits the bill."

THE SLEEPER

David Onyemata

6-3, 300

University of Manitoba

40-time: 5.06

225 Bench: 33

Round Projection: Priority FA

Mayock: "He looks like you draw them up. Just a big, long guy with 33 1/2-inch arms. He was born in Nigeria and played ball in Manitoba. He's only been playing football for five years. As about five different coaches told me at the East-West game, he's about as raw as can be. But he's intriguing."

LINEBACKER

THE BEST

Myles Jack

6-1, 245

UCLA

40-time: 4.56

Vertical Jump: 40 inches

Round Projection: 1

Mayock: "Before he got hurt, Jaylen Smith was the best linebacker in this draft. A top-five pick and maybe the best player in this draft. But he's going to drop because of the (knee) injury. Jack also is coming off an ACL, but doesn't have the nerve complications. If the medical is clean, he'll be a top-10 pick. He only played three games last year before he got hurt, but he was more physical in those three games than he had been in the past. He understood how to come downhill when he had to and take on big bodies when he had to. Against BYU, he basically played safety. He played out on the slot, covered man, covered zone. It was really interesting to watch those three games last year because they used him in three completely different ways. He was superlative in all of them. His versatility and speed sets him apart. In a 3-4, he'd be an inside WILL. In a 4-3, he'd be outside, but can play all three spots.

THE RISER

Darron Lee

6-1, 232

Ohio State

40-time: 4.46

Vertical Jump: 35 1/2 inches

Round Projection: 1

Mayock: "Lee has been rising since the end of the season. People were concerned because he played last season in the low 220s. But he carried 232 well at the combine. He just friggin' can fly. He's the future. He's what today's linebacker looks like. He doesn't take on big bodies. But sideline to sideline, he makes plays. If you come right at him, it's a different story. But more and more of today's world in football is about lateral speed. And that's what he has.''

THE SLEEPER

Jatavis Brown

5-11, 227

Akron

40-time: 4.44

Vertical Jump: 35 1/2 inches

Round Projection: 4-5

Mayock: "Brown is comparable to LSU's Deion Jones, who most people think is a second- or third-round pick. If you like Jones, you have to like Brown, because he's essentially the same guy. The only difference is one played in the SEC and the other played at Akron. He had 118 tackles this year. Twelve sacks. He plays special teams. Most people have him down around the fifth round. He's going to start as your dime linebacker Year 1. He's going to be a core special-teams player. And within a couple of years, he's going to start as your 4-3 WILL linebacker."

CORNERBACK

THE BEST

Jalen Ramsey

6-1, 209

Florida State

40-time: 4.37

3-Cone: 6.94

Round Projection: 1

Mayock: "A lot of people have him as a safety. But the safety/corner label doesn't matter as much as the ability. He's a top-five pick. He's very raw. But he's pro fast. He can erase mistakes at the line of scrimmage with pure speed. He's got size. He's unique because I wonder if, down the road, he could develop into the type of player that could cover Dez Bryant on the outside one week and then kick inside and cover Gronk the next week. That's why I think he's special. I think, Day 1, he'll be a corner with whoever drafts him, and then (his role) will evolve from there."

THE RISER

William Jackson III

6-0, 189

Houston

40-time: 4.32

3-Cone: 6.86

Round Projection: 1

Mayock: "He has size and speed and his tape is really good. He had seven pass breakups against Temple. That's a season for a lot of corners. He had seven in one game and close to 30 for the season. He's got really quick feet, good ball skills, finds the football, and will tackle when he has to. Most people thought he was a third- or fourth-round pick during the season. But the more we all got into the tape, the more we realized how good he is. Then, when he ran so fast (at the combine), it just cemented that he's probably going to be a late first-round pick."

THE SLEEPER

Ryan Smith

5-11, 189

North Carolina Central

40-time: 4.45

3-Cone: 6.88

Round Projection: 3-4

Mayock: "All the physical traits are there. He's quick-footed. He's both quick and fast. My only question about him is whether he can find the ball in the air. But his cover skills are really good. I think he's going to go in the third or fourth round because he ran so well and he's got a little bit of size. But not many people know about him."

SAFETY

THE BEST

Karl Joseph

5-10, 205

West Virginia

40-time: 4.57

Vertical Jump: N/A

Round Projection: 2-3

Mayock: "I love him. He has great range, toughness, quickness. He reminds me of a poor man's Earl Thomas. The concerns about him are a slight frame and he's coming off an ACL. He could be a late-one if he aces his medical recheck. If he doesn't, he could slide to mid-two, even three. The way the NFL is going with the spread offenses and the speed on offense and the multiple-receiver sets, defenses are getting smaller and faster. And that means teams - unless you have the luxury of a guy like Kam Chancellor - are looking for safeties who can run and cover and are interchangeable. That's Joseph. He dropped down and covered the slot at West Virginia."

THE RISER

Keanu Neal

6-0, 211

Florida

40-time: 4.56

Vertical Jump: 38 inches

Round Projection: 2-3

Mayock: "Neal had some average tape early in the year because he was coming off knee and hamstring injuries. I saw the early tape and kind of wrote him off at that point. Then I had some scouts come back and tell me I needed to look at him later in the year and he was much better. He's one of the bigger hitters in the safety class. He goes against what we just talked about (with today's safeties). He's not a great cover guy. He's more of a box safety. But he's a thumper. He'll knock your jock off. He has an attitude. Having said all that, he tends to miss too many tackles because he overcommits. But I love his attitude. He jumps 38 inches. He broad-jumped 11 feet. So all of the physical traits are there. I'm just a little bit worried about him coming off a hash and playing deep.''

THE SLEEPER

Derrick Kindred

5-10, 207

TCU

40-time: 4.50

Vertical Jump: 37 1/2 inches

Round Projection: 5

Mayock: "He played through a collarbone injury this year. He's not the most physically gifted kid. But he had pretty good numbers at his Pro Day. He jumped 37 1/2 inches. His tape is good. He's tough. He plays hard. He missed too many tackles. But like I said, he was playing with a collarbone injury. So you can't kill the kid for that. I think he can end up going somewhere in the fifth-round area."


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