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Mike Mayock: 2013 draft class lacks difference-makers in top 10, QB class has holes

By Jay Skurski

INDIANAPOLIS -- NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is impressed with the depth of the 2013 draft class, but sees holes in a couple of key areas particulary of interest to the Buffalo Bills.

“The top end of the draft, the top 10 picks, I don’t see the difference makers like we’ve had the last several years,” Mayock said on a conference call. “I think the quick snapshot of this draft is more depth. Not quite the difference makers at the top end and a whole lot of holes in the quarterbacking class.”

With the eighth overall pick – and a stated desire by General Manager Buddy Nix to take a quarterback – Mayock’s beliefs don’t match up especially well with the Bills’ situation.

Here's what Mayock had to say when asked if the Bills should draft a quarterback at No. 8, or consider a linebacker.

    "I'm a big believer in value. If you have a top-10 pick, you want an all-pro at some point. If you look at a Geno Smith, he could be a top 10 pick in some people's eyes. Now for me, he and Matt Barkley, to me, are more like 20 to 32. That’s where I feel more comfortable.

“However, the point I’d like to make is with the rookie wage scale, it’s a lot less expensive to take a flier on a top-10 quarterback than it used to be. And if you make a mistake on a JaMarcus Russell and it costs you $50 million, you have a problem. If you make a mistake on a kid today at No. 8 and it costs you $20 million, it's a little different.

    "So even though I don’t subscribe to that, there are going to be people that say Buffalo should take a quarterback at 8, regardless of what the ‘quote’ value is. With Geno Smith, I see flashes of everything you want in a top-10 quarterback. I see a lot more inconsistency though than I see those flashes. So he, to me, there is a real risk-reward scenario there. So that’s kind of a long way of saying that a lot of people are going to be talking about quarterbacks.

    "But if you get into that linebacker discussion at No. 8, there are a bunch of different names that are going to come up. One of them is going to be a polarizing figure, and that is Alec Ogletree out of Georgia. You want to talk about a kid that’s made for the NFL game with an ability to drop and cover, a former safety. He’s fun to watch on tape. He flies. He’s explosive. He’s not great against the run, but, boy, in today’s NFL spread offenses, he’s a great fit. But given the off-the-field issues and the DUI recently he’s going to be one of the more intriguing guys to follow throughout the draft."


2013 draft | 2013 NFL scouting combine | Mike Mayock
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |