Enter the draft guru: Mayock dishes on 2012 class

INDIANAPOLIS — NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock hit the press room Sunday for a wide-ranging conversation with reporters about everything from Robert Griffin III‘s to Peyton Manning‘s legacy here in Circle City.

Here’s a sampling of the magic our draft guru spun at the NFL Scouting Combine:

On Robert Griffin III: “I knew he was going to fly (in the 40-yard dash), and, to be honest, I didn’t care if it was 4.31 or 4.41 … I already knew how athletic the kid is. … I expected him to fly. … I enjoyed him on the set. I thought he was engaging and intelligent.”

On Andrew Luck: “I think what was surprising to some people was how athletic Andrew Luck is. I knew he was because I’ve watched the kid workout personally, but I think a lot of people might be surprised to compare his measurables to Cam Newton from a year ago, and how similar they are.”

On Luck filling Manning’s shoes: “Peyton Manning’s one of the best two or three to ever play the game. I don’t think you can say any college kid is Peyton Manning.”

What will teams be willing to part with to move up and snag RGIII? “I don’t know what the right value is today, but I’ll tell you this: If you look at last year’s draft, and (Christian) Ponder goes at (No. 12) and (Jake) Locker goes at (No. 8), what I would tell you is that I would be stunned if these two kids didn’t go 1 and 2, and then I think (Ryan) Tannehill, even though he can’t work out, as long as he takes care through the process, shows people he can throw, what an athlete he is, Tannehill might go in the top 10.”

On Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill: “(He) killed it (with a 4.36-second 40-yard dash). I had a bunch of scouts tell me before the combine, ‘This kid might blow the roof off it,’ and he did. The tough thing with Stephen Hill is coming out of that option offense. He’s hard to evaluate. We went through this with Demaryius Thomas. … From a football perspective, every team in the league has now got a lot of homework to do. … Trust me, he’s kind of pushed himself right up in the forefront of this wide receiver (class).”

On Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd: “I thought Floyd had as good a day as just about anyone out there.”

On Baylor WR Kendall Wright: “The guy I was most surprised with as far as his 40 on the downside was (Wright). … On tape, I thought he was DeSean Jackson, just a notch below him from a speed perspective, so to see him run 4.6 — I was stunned.”

On LSU DT Michael Brockers: “Brockers is special. … Brockers is probably a top-10 or (top-)12 pick.”

On the defensive line class: “I love the defensive tackles, which we’re going to see tomorrow. Not a fan of the defensive ends. I’ve seen anywhere from five to seven defensive tackles that have first-round grades.”

The news for tight ends? Not so good: “I think the tight end class is a bad class. And that’s not good, given (Rob) Gronkowski and (Aaron) Hernandez and what we’ve seen in the NFL. Everybody’s looking for that next guy. I don’t have a first-round grade in the tight end class. I’ve got three second-round grades and then I’ve got kind of an abyss.”

And now, with the press room shutting down and reporters filing out — many heading home — we take our own journey out of Lucas Oil Stadium.

– Marc Sessler

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