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Mayock: Draft offer depth but few 'difference makers'

As you saw in the list of players that have been invited to the coming NFL Combine, there are dozens of juniors and they are responsible for making this draft class deep.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock agrees that is exactly what teams are likely to see out of this draft: Depth.

"Because of the juniors, we probably have better depth than in last 10 years," Mayock said today on a national conference call.

But ...

While that will create more value for later-round picks -- remember the Dolphins have two picks in the second round and two in the third - Mayock doesn't see stardom at the top of the draft.

"The top 10 picks, I don't see difference makers," Mayock said.

He went on to say that he sees the fifth pick and the 25th pick as having similar talent.

Wouldn't you know it? The Dolphins, a team that has plenty of solid players but few difference makers, are looking for that thing that Mayock says the top of the draft lacks. And with the No. 12 overall selection, the Dolphins are in that area where Mayock says difference makers are not evident.

The Dolphins need help at cornerback, wide receiver, defensive end and tight end. Yes, it would be good to add a pass-rusher to start opposite Cameron  Wake, but Mayock isn't sold on the players most gurus have atop that group.

"I don't think Bjoern Werner or Damontre Moore are top 10 players," he said.

The Dolphins need a running back, you say?

Mayock has only one -- Alabama's Eddie Lacy -- graded for the first round.

Mel Kiper has the Dolphins picking Tennessee wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson in the first round. Mayock likes him, too. He gives him a first-round grade, one of only two wide receivers he gives first-round grades to.

"You put hut him on tape, and he’s going to take your breath away. He’s a special talent," Mayock said. But then Mayock also adds Patterson comes with major upside but major risk as well due to his inexperience.

Mayock likes an offensive lineman for the Dolphins at No. 12. He says he has six offensive tackles with first round grades.

Meanwhile, Mayock said he sees Alabama OG Chance Warmack as the best player he's studied on tape this year.

And the former special teams player and safety called this year's safety class "one of the best safety classes in years."

Mayock only has one cornerback -- Alabama's Dee Milliner -- graded for the first round.

So what does all this mean?

I'd say that if a majority of teams share Mayock's opinion about the top of the round, it will be very difficult for teams at that height to trade down. And it would be easier and less expensive for teams wanting to get up there to trade up.

The lack of cornerback talent high in the draft is also good for pending Dolphins free agent Sean Smith and the multitude of free agent corners about to hit the market.

 

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