On Monday, noted NFL draft expert Mike Mayock updated his positional rankings for next month’s draft. Previously, following his amazing combine performance, Mayock shot Memphis DT Dontari Poe right up to the top spot on his list of DTs for this year’s draft. At the time I was surprised. Mayock has never struck me as the type to get caught up in the “hype machine” around players. I’ll admit, his excitement over Poe has been one of the lingering doubts in the back of my mind as I have crusaded against the Chiefs taking Poe. Well tonight I’m going to rest easy because Mike Mayock has seen the light, or rather the game tape.
In his latest rankings Mayock has dropped Poe from the #1 rated DT down to the #4 DT. You can check out an interview of Mayock talking about his updated rankings HERE. The section where he talks about the DTs is at about 2:45 of the video. It’s worth watching, but if you don’t check it out I’ll paraphrase for you.
Mayock says Poe’s a “physical freak”, but his tape is very average. He says he still thinks that his raw abilities make him a valuable prospect but that he moved him down the board because he thinks the top prospects are expected to be able to come in and play from day one. Mayock thinks Poe will need to go to an established team where he won’t be pressured to play right away and can be mentored on how to play the position by strong veteran players.
So who’s Mayock’s new top rated DT for this year’s draft? Well I’m glad you asked! It just so happens that it’s Mississippi State’s Fletcher Cox. Mayock points out that Cox is also a “freaky athlete” who’s 6’4″ and 300 pounds and ran a 4.8 forty and won’t even turn 21 until September. He says the difference is that Cox’s production and upside match up. He calls Cox a top 15 pick and even says it won’t surprise him if he goes in the top ten.
Anybody else ready to get on the Fletcher Cox bandwagon with me yet?