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Mike Mayock discusses the Redskins and the 2011 NFL draft

NFL Network Draft Analyst Mike Mayock also fielded questions regarding the Redskins and their approach to this year’s NFL draft via a conference call on Thursday. Once again, Rich Campbell of The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star and John Keim of the Washington Examiner shared Mayock’s thoughts and quotes via Twitter:

* Mayock talked extensively about Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who as mentioned, was recently projected to be drafted by the Redskins in Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock draft. “Purely on tape, he reminds me of the [young QBs] that have done well the last couple years,” Mayock said about Gabbert. He also said that he reminded him of recent draft picks such as Matt Ryan and Sam Bradford, both of whom have enjoyed NFL success to date. Mayock did say that he questions about Gabbert’s footwork, ability to read defense, and transitioning to a sophisticated NFL offense after palying in Missouri’s spread offense.

* Regarding Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, Mayock echoed the sentiments of other draft analysts who believe that Mallett’s stock seems to be dropping. “Every time I get excited about him, he does something that bothers me,” Mayock said.

* Mayock also discussed the ‘second tier’ of quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, such as Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, TCU’s Andy Dalton, and Ricky Stanzi of Iowa. Mayock actually thought that Stanzi would be a really good fit for the Redskins in the later rounds, if they didn’t take a quarterback with their first round pick.

He also seemed to be a little higher on Kaepernick than most draft gurus. He believed that Kaepernick presents the most upside of all those quarterbacks, because of his arm strength, height, and mobility, but also warned: “there’s just so much work that has to be done with that young man.”

As far as deeper “sleepers” at quarterback, Mayock also brought up Tyrod Taylor of Virginia Tech. While Taylor is barely 6’1 and has been “slotted” as more of an athlete than quarterback, Mayock stated: “the perception is that he can only be a scrambling quarterback. I think that’s a bit unfair to the kid.”

* Mayock also discussed offensive linemen a good bit. He stated that this class was particular deep for interior linemen, and that there were a lot of good prospects who could be available past the first round. He mentioned offensie tackles like Jah Reid of Central Florida and Joseph Barksdale of LSU as great fits at right tackle (Jammal Brown is a free agent, as of right now); both are currently graded out as mid-round picks.

* With defensive linemen, Mayock thought two guys in particular would fit well with the Redskins: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, and Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor. Mayock believes that Watts is the best 3-4 defensive end (usually playing the “five” technique in said defense), and would be a good choice for Washington with their first round pick. But he also said that this draft is so deep that they can easily find help in the second round, if they don’t take a defensive end at #10.

Taylor is a guy whose name has been shooting up draft boards because of his natural fit at the nose tackle position, and the preponderance of teams now going to the 3-4 defense. While Mayock believed that Taylor would be a “real logical” selection for the Redskins in the secound round, there’s increasing rumors that Taylor could be selected as high as the middle of the first round.

* Mayock also mentioned that if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is completed by draft day, and if said agreement does include a rookie wage scale, there could be more trades than ever amongst the top 10 selections of this years draft. In past years, there was often a lot of interest from teams to move up to grab a player they love, but that was usually deterred by the exhorbitant rookie salaries the team would have to pay; a new CBA would solve that problem to a large extent

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