Mike Mayock held his annual Combine press conference on Saturday and was asked about a wide range of players and overall draft issues. Our own Lindsey Young detailed some of Mayock’s thoughts on offensive linemen yesterday. Here are five other notable quotes from Mayock's Combine press conference.
1. Top WR could be there for Vikings at No. 23
Quote: "This is not the same receiver class we saw the last couple years. You saw that today (Saturday). Nowhere near as explosive. (Laquon) Treadwell didn't run (the 40-yard dash), but Treadwell's not going to run fast anyway. He didn't jump well today. He jumped below average. And I expected that. Treadwell, to me, is kind of a bottom half of the first round person."
The WR classes the past two seasons have been talented and deep, so it's striking to hear Mayock say that this year perhaps only one could go in the 1st round and that the top WR may not go until the second half of the opening round. For those who believe the Vikings should spend their top pick on a pass catcher for Teddy Bridgewater, the idea that the draft's top option – Treadwell – could be there at No. 23 is enticing.
2. A perfect fit for the Vikings?
Quote: "We've become so specialized. In my head, I've kind of got him targeted for a dome team. A team that plays inside on turf with him as a situational pass rusher. That's who I think he is. Just come off the edge. The sub package, as we said, is 70% of the game. Let him come off the edge, especially in a dome where he'd have an advantage."
Do you know any teams who'll be playing inside on artificial turf? It sounds like Mayock will view the Vikings, who move into U.S. Bank Stadium this season, as a potential landing spot for Oklahoma OLB Eric Striker. The Vikings pass rush was solid in 2015 but, make no mistake, every team is looking to enhance their pass rush.
3. Buzz will build for more 1st-round CBs
Quote: "It's a really good corner draft. We're doing our homework. I think we're going to start hearing more names than just the three or four we've been talking about for the last couple months with the corners."
The Vikings used the ninth overall pick last year on CB Trae Waynes, but you can never have enough CBs in the NFL and it wouldn't surprise anyone in the League to see Mike Zimmer target another talented DB early in the draft. Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Vernon Hargreaves of Florida are the two most talked about CBs in this draft, but it sounds like Mayock believes someone like Mackensie Alexander, Eli Apple or Cyrus Jones could rise up draft boards over the next two months.
4. Depth could push talented DL to later rounds
Quote: "There are so many good defensive linemen. One way you could look at it is there are going to be a bunch of them taken in the first round. The other way, which could happen, is that teams are going to look around and say 'Man, I can get a second-round defensive tackle in the fourth round, so I'm going to wait. Or I can get a first-round defensive tackle in the third round. So I'm going to go attack another need where the draft isn't as good.' The two deepest positons for me are defensive tackles and corners."
The Vikings found talent in the middle rounds with Everson Griffen as a 4th-round pick in 2010 and with Danielle Hunter as a 3rd-round pick last year. Will they find another mid-round steal again in 2016? Or will they strike early and take a top-ranked lineman before the rest of the League starts tapping into the strength of the draft?
5. A three-year sweep at LB
Quote: "Reggie Ragland to me is a top 20 pick. What you have to do in today's NFL…you're in sub packages 70% of the time. So your nickel (CB) is a starter. Who are you taking off the field? Are you taking a defensive tackle, are you taking an inside linebacker? Who's coming off the field? Reggie Ragland rushes the quarterback well enough and can cover well enough that I don't think he's coming off the field."
The Vikings have done well in taking LBs early in back-to-back years, with Anthony Barr in the 1st round in 2014 and Eric Kendricks in the 2nd round in 2015. It sounds like Mayock feels the Vikings could go for a clean sweep at the position with the selection of Ragland at No. 23. If Mayock's projection of Ragland's three-down ability is true, the Vikings would have three young LBs who could all play in sub packages, giving Mike Zimmer flexibility in his play calling and personnel choices.
View some of the best images of the linebackers from 2015.