Mike Mayock is a draft analyst for NFL Network. In a recent teleconference, he was asked about Roquan Smith, Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter as they prepare for their upcoming pro day, the combine and the draft.
Q: Mike, could you discuss what makes Roquan Smith the first rounder at linebacker, and the Georgia running back, Sony Michel, and Chubb,
and the rushers, Carter and Bellamy?
MIKE MAYOCK: Yeah, I love Roquan Smith, and I think he’s today’s NFL off-the-ball linebacker. It’s mostly about speed. You know, he’s 225 pounds. Deon Jones was drafted in the second round in Atlanta two years ago, and he’s been the prototype. I think Roquan Smith takes it a step further. Very similar type guy. I love the way he plays. I didn’t even know who he was the first tape I put in. I think it was Notre Dame-Georgia and he just jumped off the tape. I got excited sitting there going, who is this guy? The tailbacks, the more I watch Sony Michel, the more I think Sony Michel can make an impact like Alvin Kamara in the run game. I think he has burst acceleration, better toughness than people think, better contact balance than I expected. What he doesn’t have yet is the pass game ability Kamara did. I think he’s got good hands, but I’m not sure yet because they didn’t throw it to him too much. I know he didn’t run great routes. It was just check downs and flair screens. So the combine and his Pro Day are very important for him.
The other running back, Chubb, I think he’s one of the toughest running backs in his career. Downhill, north-south, one cut, make him miss. I think he’s a warrior. He’ll fit his own scheme, and he’s a really good player.
The edge guys. Carter, I like Carter. I think Carter is going to go on the second day in the draft. He’s got almost the same size as Leonard Floyd. His production wasn’t the same. He needs to get stronger, as does Bellamy, Davin Bellamy, the other edge guy. I think Bellamy has more upside than people give him credit for. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went in the fourth round or so. But I think Carter and Bellamy are both what today’s 34 outside linebacker looks like.