With his thick Philly accent, Mike Mayock turned the Mike and Mike show into Mike and Mike and Mike. The topic of conversation was the NFL draft and how exactly NFL teams might go about analyzing Cardale Jones as a potential draft pick. The impediments are obvious. Jones has only played three college football games. Mayock had some other interesting points though, too, when the chirp of his battery-starved smoke detector wasn’t going out over the air.
Mike Mayock was on ESPN Radio and his smoke detector low battery beep was audible in the background. Man, that sound annoys me.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 14, 2015
Mayock brought up the point that when NFL scouts start to look into a kid, it’s not always going to be favorable to his draft stock. Mayock was very plain about saying that he doesn’t know the Cardale Jones situation in particular, but generically speaking said, “there’s a reason he was the third string quarterback at Ohio State.” And Mayock isn’t wrong about any of that.
Once the NFL draft scouting process takes hold of a kid, it does get ugly at times whether it’s a leaked Wonderlic or some crime or legal issue from the past. Molehills are multiplied into mountains and sometimes it feels like NFL teams are not just doing “due diligence” but smashing a kid over the head in order to game the draft process and select him lower. College players are sometimes mere chips in this high stakes game of poker between billion dollar poker players.
In the end, Mayock is very smart about how he talks about the draft. When push came to shove and they asked him where Cardale Jones could go in the draft, Mayock didn’t give his opinion. Instead he said, “I think I’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’d say he’d go in the first 100 picks.”
What does that mean? Let’s put it perspective of the Browns. Terrance West was the 94th pick overall, selected in the third round. John Hughes was the 87th pick and Travis Benjamin was number 100 in 2012. Greg Little was 59 in 2011 and Jordan Cameron was 102. Just in terms of recent quarterback history, the Pats selected Jimmy Garoppolo number 62 in 2014. Logan Thomas from Virginia Tech was selected by Arizona at 120. And maybe I’m a bit of a homer for Cardale Jones and I’m underestimating the NFL draft process, but I can’t believe the same league that seems to look for prototypical physical attributes when it comes to quarterbacks wouldn’t find it in its best interest to take a sub-100 draft pick flyer on a kid who is 6-5 and 250 pounds with great athleticism and an arm that can “make all the throws.”
And even if Mayock is right and Cardale Jones couldn’t go in the top 100, life could be worse. If Jones was selected in the Logan Thomas spot, he’d be in line for the same four-year deal worth $2.22 million including a $432k signing bonus.
I won’t pretend to know where Jones would actually go. I also won’t pretend to know what Cardale Jones should do. As I said on the podcast with Andrew last night, I find the conversation fascinating nonetheless. What an amazing story.