The NFL Draft is only a week away and the time has come for the annual Mike Mayock marathon conference call. This year he lasted more than 90 minutes answering any and all questions people could muster. I actually cut out with about twenty minutes remaining, but not before he answered several questions both specifically about the 49ers, and about some players connected to the 49ers. I'll have a transcript later today, but for now I'll have a couple posts on some of his comments.
Someone mentioned to Mayock how Trent Baalke had suggested the 49ers have a specific player in mind at No. 30 and think he'll be there. That person then asked Mayock if he had any idea who that player was. After a bit of a chuckle, Mayock said he could see wide receiver and interior linemen as guys that could fit in there for the 49ers. He specifically mentioned WR Stephen Hill and OGs Kevin Zeitler and Amini Silatolu.
During that discussion he pointed to the cornerback position and also defensive line, but he did not think the guys available at 30 fit the 49ers needs. There are some talented cornerbacks in this draft, but it seems like he expects them to go sooner. For the defense line, he sees the guys potentially sitting there as not fitting the 49ers system.
I was actually able to get a question in so I asked Mayock for his thoughts on much discussed wide receiver Stephen Hill. He views Hill as a boom/bust type of player that happens to be one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft. He's got top-15 height/weight/speed measurables, but has the issue of limited production in college.
Accordingly, Mayock sees two schools of thought on Hill. The first views him as a raw developmental guy not worth more than a second or third round pick. The second views him as a guy who could put up some huge numbers on a limited number of touches his first year. Even if he only catches 35 passes, some of them would go for big numbers that make him a valuable asset from day one.
The thing he likes beyond height/weight/speed is Hill's ability to get into and out of breaks at his height. Hill stands close to 6'4 and Mayock indicated his ability to get into and out of the breaks was rare for a guy his size. He did point to the drops his senior year as an issue, but otherwise was really intrigued by his talent.
In further discussing the wide receivers in the draft, he broke them down into a few categories. He's got Blackmon and then Michael Floyd at the top in their own group (although it sounded like he had Floyd distinctly below Blackmon). After that he has Stephen Hill and Kendall Wright fairly close together and worth one of those late first round picks. He actually thinks Hill could go anywhere in the 25-32 range. After that, guys like Rueben Randle, Alshon Jeffery, Brian Quick and A.J. Jenkins all have solid skills, but enough question marks to drop deeper into the second round. He said there are often years where he likes the second rounders as much as the first rounders, but this is not one of those years.