There may not be a better NFL analyst than Mike Mayock of the NFL Network. Every time that guy works a game, and he doesn’t get to work enough, he teaches you something about football you never knew before.
Mayock is also one of the most, if not the most, respected draft analysts in the business. He’s a tireless worker who watches players in person and on tape in formulating his evaluations.
When Mayock speaks, the NFL community listens and when he was asked by FloridaFootballInsiders during a conference call on Friday, Mayock spoke about what it is he believes the Bucs should do at No. 19 in this year’s draft.
His answer probably won’t shock Bucs fans but it should help them to understand a little better why all the mock drafts have been all over the map as far as what it is the various analysts have the Bucs doing.
At first, Mayock pointed to the age of soon-to-be-34-year-old cornerback Brent Grimes and the lack of ideal safety talent and suggested the Bucs should address their defensive backfield.
He later pointed to the age of soon-to-be 32-year-old defensive end Robert Ayers and suggested the Bucs might want to upgrade their pass rush, even though Noah Spence looks like he’ll be able to do that for them.
In the end, though, Mayock pointed to the offense and the need to help quarterback Jameis Winston as the need the Bucs would be wise to address ahead of all the others.
“Then you get into the whole running back situation, and whether or not Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey, those kind of guys (make sense), and by the way, I do believe those kind of guys make sense at 19,’’ Mayock said.
“I think McCaffrey will (already) be off the board (at 19), but I think Cook is going to slide because of character concerns. Could Dalvin Cook be staring them in the face at (19)? I think he could be, and I think he needs to be a consideration.
“Again, the way I look at this thing, at 19, does the tailback or running back make the most sense? Because they added DeSean Jackson, they’ve got Mike Evans and they’ve got to take some pressure off Jameis Winston.
“He had 24 turnovers last year. That’s too many. So they’ve got to help him with the run game. I think that’s got to be their first priority.’’