Jake Locker to the Washington Redskins with the 10th pick in NFL Draft on April 28? Taiwan Jones not making it out of the second round the following day?
Both could happen, according to Mike Mayock. The draft analyst for the NFL Network participated in a conference-call Q&A session today and touched on two in-state players who have been profiled on Seahawks.com this week: Locker, the quarterback from the University of Washington; and Jones, the running back from Eastern Washington University.
First, Mayock was asked if there was any way he could see the Redskins going for Locker at No. 10.
“Yeah, I do,” Mayock said. “After those first two guys (Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton) are gone, the game begins. Somebody’s going to take a shot on (Ryan) Mallett at some point and I happened to think that Locker – out of most of the teams in the league – fits Washington better than most.”
Mayock than visited Mike Shanahan’s past, when the Redskins coach had Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler while coaching the Denver Broncos.
“Locker is a little bit like a combination of those two guys,” Mayock said. “Locker likes getting out on the edge and he’s mostly accurate off play-action rolling out right or left. That’s what Mike Shanahan’s scheme is. It’s a lot of play-action. It’s a quarterback making a decision on half the field.
“If he has a chance to play early and play effectively, I think that’s the kind of system he’s set up for.”
Mayock then added, “It wouldn’t surprise me, at all, if he went 10 or 12 – Washington or Minnesota.”
Later, Mayock was asked about players who could have an impact returning kicks, and be selected higher because of it. That’s where Jones came into the conversation.
“Taiwan Jones is a guy that I love, and I think that he’s going to go fairly high,” he said. “He might be the fastest guy in the draft. He was off the radar, but I told people about two months ago that if this kid ran in the 4.3 (second) range – like I thought he would – he’d go from an afterthought to a late two, early three.
“He ran 4.28. He jumped 40 inches. He had a big day. Because of his return ability and because he can catch the football out of the backfield, I don’t think he’s getting out of the second round now.”
Mayock also discussed another topic that has been included in our series leading up to the draft: Whether there is a player who deserves to be selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers.
“I do feel very strongly that Carolina would love to get out of No. 1,” he said. “I’m not even convinced that Carolina is going to take a quarterback at No. 1. I think that’s the prevailing attitude, but I’m still fairly skeptical about that.
“I think they would like to get out of there, leverage that first pick and let somebody come up and get Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert; drop down three or four spots and still get a quality player and multiple picks. I think that’s exactly what Carolina would love to do.”