NFL Network’s draft forecaster Mike Mayock is having a harder time with 2011’s QB class than he’s had in recent memory.
While fielding questions for an NFL.com chat today, Mayock said that “this year’s QB class is the most difficult to quantify in the last 10 years. Gabbert, Locker, Newton and Mallett all have first-round talent but they have holes either in their on-field game or concerns off the field. All four of these kids have the ability, but the question is which one, two or three will ultimately get it done?”
Hopefully, what he sees in Indy next week will help clarify a few things for the analyst, but as of now Mayock feels like Newton could be a risky high pick because of the simple pass offense he came out of at Auburn.
“You better make sure he has the football IQ to process and assimilate information,” said Mayock. “Two, and most important, you have to do your homework off the field. Will he be the first guy in the building every morning? Is he driven to be the best QB in the NFL? Is he the guy you want as the face of your franchise? If the answer to any of those questions are ‘no,’ then you probably don’t want to draft him.”
As for who out the four has the best arm in the draft, Mayock gives the edge to the former Razorback Ryan Mallett saying he “has all the physical tools to be the prototype drop-back passer in the NFL. His problem is that the more the pocket disintegrates, the worse he becomes. I love his skill set, but he needs considerable development in the pocket.”
Besides the QB quartet, Mayock will also be evaluating the skills of the more than 300 players on display next week starting live Thursday, Feb. 24 at 12:30 p.m. ET on the NFL Network.