NFL Network’s top Draft analyst, Mike Mayock, spoke on a conference call for two and a half hours Monday morning, issuing nearly 23,000 words of proclamation on this year’s Draft class.
You can read the full 77-page transcript here.
Mayock didn’t talk much about the Bears specifically, who select 20th overall this April, but when he did it was to defend quarterback Jay Cutler, insisting Phil Emery and his team need to get him some protection.
“I think they have to take an offensive lineman,” Mayock said. “I think they've got to protect their quarterback much better than they have. When Jay Cutler is protected, he's one of the top quarterbacks in football. When he's not protected, you can't win football games.”
Bears fans have been defending Jay Cutler in this town for years now, suggesting that one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the League is going to struggle from time to time, like it or not.
Others have insisted that Cutler’s inconsistencies scream of wasted talent.
Whichever side you’re on, there’s no doubt that Cutler would be more successful with stouter protection. Just how successful is up for debate, but it’s also not the point for my purposes here.
“From my perspective,” Mayock continued, “it's got to start up front, and I think it's a good year to be at No. 20. Because Lane Johnson from Oklahoma could be there; D.J. Fluker from Alabama could be there—two of the better tackles in the draft.
“Then when you're talking about the guards, if either Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper were available, you'd have to jump all over them. So I think there are four names right there who make a ton of sense for Chicago.”
Mayock went on to explain that the player value-to-pick ratio in the 2013 NFL Draft favors a later selection in the first round. Meaning, the Bears should be able to get pretty decent bang for their buck at No. 20.
“I don’t like being in the top 10 this year,” Mayock said. “I’d much rather be at 16 and 22. The fifth pick and the twenty-fifth pick are very similar.”
It would appear that from at least one analyst’s vantage point Phil Emery and the Bears are in a great position to add a contributor who can help Jay Cutler be successful, something new head coach Marc Trestman was also brought here to do.
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