Draft series: Mayock talks quarterbacks

Former Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert is considered by some as this year's top quarterback prospect. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)

Here is Part 1 of our series of draft analysis pieces from NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock.

Look for a different position each day leading up to the NFL draft. We begin with the quarterbacks:

The Best

Blaine Gabbert, Missouri

6-4 1/2, 234

40-time: 4.61

Mayock: ``He’s a big, strong kid who throws the hell out of the football and has exceptional athletic ability. He’s not as clean as Sam Bradford or Matt Ryan. He comes from a spread offense and is going to have to work on both his footwork and his pocket awareness. He’s one of those real good athletes who leaves the pocket too quickly. I don’t want to kill him for it because he makes plays with his feet, but it’s something he’s going to have to develop. He’s the only one of the quarterbacks I would take in the top 5. But even with him, there’s going to be a time frame of learning.’’

Round projection: 1

The Riser

Colin Kaepernick, Nevada

6-4 1/2, 233

40-time: 4.53

Mayock: ``I first saw him last summer at Peyton Manning’s passing academy. He’s got a big-time arm and big-time athletic ability. But he’s very raw. A developmental project. But people have become enamored with him and he’s gone from preseason, when most people figured him for a fifth-round kind of guy, to a solid consideration in the second round.’’

Round projection: 2

The Sleeper

T.J. Yates, North Carolina

6-3 1/2, 219

40-time: 5.00

Mayock: ``He’s probably never going to be more than a career No. 2. But he’s the kind of guy who can come in this year and be your No. 3, compete for the No. 2 job next year. He’s smart enough to understand the offense on minimal reps. If he had to come in due to injury, he probably wouldn’t lose the game for you.’’

Round projection: 7-FA



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