Eagles Notebook: Mike Mayock gives his take on outside linebackers in NFL draft

Posted: April 23, 2013

FOR THE 12th straight year, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is breaking down each of the positions in the draft for the Daily News, providing his assessment of the best player at each position, as well as his top riser and sleeper. Mayock, 54, resides in Newtown Square and is a graduate of the Haverford School. A former safety, he was a 10th-round pick of the Steelers in 1981 and played two seasons with the Giants (1982-83).

3-4 OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

THE BEST

Name: Dion Jordan

School: Oregon

Height, weight: 6-6, 248

40 time: 4.54

225 bench: NA

Vertical jump: 32 1/2 inches

Arms: 33 7/8 inches

Round projection: 1

Mayock: "I loved him on tape and love his upside. A year from now, he can be an Aldon Smith-type guy. He's got length. You can move him around. He's got to get some weight on him. He got the [injured] shoulder fixed which hopefully will allow him to get back into a lifting program and nutrition program.

"This kid should put 20 pounds on. To me, he's got the length, the explosion, the quickness and ability to be a premier edge-disrupter in the NFL.

"Some people might see him as a 4-3 end in the NFL, but I like him as a 3-4 outside linebacker. If you put the Oregon tape on, he's out there over slots, disrupting the slot on the route. He's running with slots, but you can bring him in a three-point stance and let him go.

"I think this kid, if he can stay healthy and puts weight on, I think he has a chance to be a premier player."

THE RISER

Name: Jamie Collins

School: Southern Mississippi

Height, weight: 6-4, 250

40 time: 4.59

225 bench: 19

Vertical jump: 41 1/2 inches

Arms: 33 3/4 inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock: "He was a defensive end at Southern Miss. A hand-in-the-dirt guy on a really bad college team. You kind of have to sift through the tape because what you see is an explosive kid. He plays a little bit standing up. But his get-off and explosion are phenomenal. He can chase down the ball. He can play physically. It's easy to look at him and say we like him as a 4-3 end and a pass-rush guy. But ultimately, the 3-4 teams are going to love him.

"I think he's going to go in the second round because of his athletic explosion and athletic ability."

THE SLEEPER

Name: Walter Stewart

School: Cincinnati

Height, weight: 6-3, 246

40 time: 4.55

225 bench: 16

Vertical jump: 37 1/2 inches

Arms: NA

Round projection: FA

Mayock: "He's a major medical risk because of a cervical spine problem. He didn't play last year. The kid announced he was retiring. It's a major reach to say he's ever going to play. But the doctors have cleared him. He's very quick, very athletic.

"If you took the medical out of the equation, he'd probably be a third- or fourth-round outside linebacker. But you can't. The medical is a major deal. Teams are going to be concerned about it. I don't even think he's going to get drafted. But I recognize his athletic ability."

4-3 OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

THE BEST

Name: Jarvis Jones

School: Georgia

Height, weight: 6-3, 245

40 time: 4.90

225 bench: 20

Vertical jump: 30 1/2 inches

Arms: 33 inches

Round projection: 1

Mayock: "Despite running 4.9 and despite the potential [spinal] stenosis, he's explosive and quick on tape. I've got him as a 4-3 outside linebacker. Most people think he's a 3-4 outside 'backer. He could play in either scheme. Pittsburgh [a 3-4 team], at 17, could love him. But I'm projecting him as a 4-3 SAM [strong side].

"I don't think he's as long as most of the 3-4 teams like. But he can stack the edge over a tight end. He has pass-rush ability, which will add to his versatility. He just doesn't have that high-end elite speed. But to me, that's all he doesn't have. He plays hard.

"The medical rejects will come out next week, but it doesn't sound like [the spinal stenosis] is a major issue right now."

THE RISER

Name: Arthur Brown

School: Kansas State

Height, weight: 6-1, 236

40 time: 4.58

225 bench: 21

Vertical jump: 32 1/2 inches

Arms: 32 1/2 inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock: "This kid really can play. Played inside at Kansas State and a lot of people think he'll stay inside at the next level. But I kind of like him as a 4-3 WILL [weak side]. He can run. He stays square. He's tough. He comes downhill. He tackles.

"I think he's a second-round pick all day long. He's a guy who, if you got stuck at the end of the first round, you'd feel comfortable betting on him."

THE SLEEPER

Name: Lerentee McCray

School: Florida

Height, weight: 6-2, 250

40 time: 4.74

225 bench: NA

Vertical jump: NA

Arms: 33 3/8 inches

Round projection: 4-5

Mayock: "He's had some durability issues. He stuck in my mind because he beat [Luke] Joeckel for a sack against A&M. After that, I went back and watched more of him.

"He really plays hard. I think he's going to be a 4-3 SAM. And he'll probably go in the fourth or fifth round. If he stays healthy, he'll be a starter. And you typically don't get starters that late.

"He's got good size. He's thick. He has a little bit of edge-rush ability. Not many people talk about him. But he just plays hard. It's been more durability that's held him back than anything."

Tuesday: Inside linebackers


Eagles Draft Week on PhillyDailyNews.com:

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