2012 NFL Draft

Olivier Vernon Rising Up the Board and Other NFL Draft Takes from Mike Mayock

Miami-Florida's Olivier Vernon could be a surprise second-day pick, according to NFL Network's Mike Mayock
Miami-Florida's Olivier Vernon could be a surprise second-day pick, according to NFL Network's Mike MayockDoug Benc/Getty Images
Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 19, 2012

NFL Network's Mike Mayock is one of the most trusted draft voices in the football universe, and today he treated us to a conference call chock-full of information. Thanks to Rotoworld and Pro Football Talk's Evan Silva for live tweeting the call:

Mayock says DE Olivier Vernon is "rising the fastest" of all Miami Hurricane prospects. Predicts Vernon will be drafted in 2nd or 3rd rd.

My Take: In a draft without an elite edge rusher, Vernon could be more coveted than usual. He's explosive, strong, athletic and quick enough to be a good 3-4 OLB in time and produce as many sacks as anyone in this draft if he hits his ceiling.

Mayock on Browns at 4: "If you're not gonna take a quarterback, I think you have to take Trent Richardson."

More Mayock on Browns at 4: "I don't think those receivers should be in this conversation. ... I think Richardson's the guy at 4."

My Take: I think the team should give more consideration to Morris Claiborne, but Mayock and I are in agreement that if Ryan Tannehill isn't the pick, Justin Blackmon should not even be considered.

Trent Richardson is a cornerstone, but he won't find a lot of room to run until the Browns have a passer that can threaten defenses downfield. Maybe Brandon Weeden can be that guy at No. 22 or 37.

Mayock on Cincinnati DL Derek Wolfe: "I've heard ppl say 1st round. I don't see it. I see maybe late 2 to early 3."

My Take: Mayock kind of glosses over the fact that Wolfe was a fourth- or fifth-rounder on a lot of boards a few months ago. He has the length and strength to be a terrific 3-4 end in the mold of Aaron Smith. 

Mayock on Memphis DT Dontari Poe: "Moves like Haloti Ngata, but he's a very average football player right now."

My Take: And this is why I am predicting Poe to have one of the biggest falls of any widely accepted first-rounder. The film just isn't there to justify a top 12-15 pick no matter how impressive his measurables are.

Poe also doesn't fit as well at nose tackle as some seem to think. He's a penetrator, not a hold-the-point-against-double-teams DT. Don't be surprised if he falls out of the top 20.

Mayock on Jaguars at No. 7 overall: "Obviously, if Justin Blackmon gets there, that's a no-brainer."

My Take: I'm not so sure that's true. If the assumption is that he's there because Fletcher Cox went at No. 6, I believe it a little more. Still, the Jaguars could take a high-floor player like Riley Reiff, a high-ceiling player at a position of need like Stephon Gilmore or any number of pass-rushers.

Blackmon is not a no-brainer for them, especially when you factor in the chance that the Jaguars want to trade down, and Blackmon is one of the better trade-up targets at No. 7.

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