Yesterday we ran an article with a partial transcript of Mike Mayock's pre-Combine conference call. The transcript was hastily thrown together based on an audio file which recorded the first 45 minutes of the call.
Today, the NFL Network released a full transcript of the call, and Mayock went on to touch on a number of topics and prospects that have received a lot of airtime among Cowboys fans.
Mayock talks about the Cowboys "Super Bowl front seven" and how the secondary has been holding the team back. He talks about how David DeCastro will be plug-and-play from day one, he examines the pass rushers in this year's draft in a lot of detail and talks about the impact arrests and injuries have on the draft stock of players like Dre Kirkpatrick and Mark Barron.
The transcript is provided by the NFL Network, we have simply grouped some of the Q&As that deal with prospects the Cowboys could be interested in.
Q. Is DeCastro a better prospect than OTs Martin and Adams?
MIKE MAYOCK: I think DeCastro's pretty sure. You can plug him in and play him day one. I think Adams is a little bit iffy just because of his past. I think Jonathan Martin's a pretty solid left tackle prospect.
Q. Does Defensive End have good depth in the second round?
MIKE MAYOCK: I like Vinny Curry from Marshall. I like him a lot. Maybe Chandler Jones from Syracuse. There is a guy from Virginia in Cam Johnson that is a talented guy, but did not play well as a senior. I'm not a big fan of this year's four-three guys.
Q. The Cowboys went with a safe solid pick in the first round last year with Tyron Smith. Do you see them doing the same this year with DeCastro, or would they be better off targeting secondary help?
MIKE MAYOCK: I've been a big believer that the secondary is what's kept them out of any potential Super Bowls the last eight or ten years, whether it was safety or corner, I think they need to upgrade back there.
For me, it could be either one of those positions. They've got some former high round picks back there. One corner is getting back up there in age. The safety position has been the single -- if you look at their front seven, it's a Super Bowl defense. That's the way to put it. Their front seven to me can win a Super Bowl. Their back end can't hold up. So for me, you've got to have help on the back end.
I think they have to continue to get younger and more athletic on the offensive line, and they started it last year. Not only did they have Tyron Smith, but they had that seventh round kid Nagy from Wisconsin who started until he got hurt. They had the free agent center. So they're getting younger and more athletic. But they have to continue the process.
Q. Can you compare and contrast Courtney Upshaw and Melvin Ingram? They seem to be somewhat similar body types, but you've got them at two different positions in your rankings. Maybe explain why and what might be different about those guys even though eyeballwise, they kind of look built similarly.
MIKE MAYOCK: That's a really good question. Courtney Upshaw for me might end up at that defensive position before this thing's over with. If you look at their height and weight, they're almost identical. One was 272, one was 274, and the height was within a quarter of an inch.
They are different body types, believe it or not. From the waist down, Upshaw's bigger. He's more of a defensive end from the waist down thank Ingram is. Even though I've got them listed opposite. I'll tell why in a minute. I think ultimately, Upshaw might be a better fit as a four-three defensive end, even though at Alabama he played that 34 rush linebacker position.
Now the reason I still have him at linebacker is that is the position he played and where a lot of teams are grading him right now.
But when you watch Alabama tape in their base defense, he's a 34 linebacker. When they're in the sub-package, he's a hand in the dirt four-three guy. So I think it helps the entire league to evaluate him. From my perspective, Upshaw might be better as a four-three end, and I'm probably going to move him there at some point.
Ingram to me is a little different. He's not as big downstairs. He doesn't have quite the big butt and size as Upshaw does. But I like his movement skills better. I think can you move him around more. If you watch what they did with him at South Carolina, he showed up at nose tackle. He stood up at outside linebacker, stood up at inside linebacker. That's a long way of saying he reminds me of Justin Tuck.
He can do those things. He's got natural pass rush ability, athletic, and can move him around. He's shown he has the aptitude to learn all those different positions. Even though they're almost identically on paper, there are some differences in their game.
Q. You have Ingram higher then?
MIKE MAYOCK: No, actually, I've got Upshaw as the number one linebacker, and I've got Ingram as the number one defensive end.
Q. Overall though, who is higher? Overall who is higher on your board?
MIKE MAYOCK: I don't have a board yet. I don't ever do a board prior to the combine and the pro days.
Q. You mentioned earlier Vinny Curry out of Marshall looking like a second round pick. Can you evaluate his game? Can the combine potentially bump him up in that first round?
MIKE MAYOCK: I thought The Senior Bowl helped him more than the Combine will. That is because I admire his game. I admire what this kid is. What that is he's a lunch pail guy that works his tail off. He's got some talent, but he's supremely twisted and gets the most out of what he is. He's got natural pass-rush abilities and toughness.
When you combine those things, you can be a productive, good, NFL player. Can he help himself at the Combine? I'm not sure what he's going to run or what any of his numbers are going to be.
I know he's gotten himself into that late first to mid second consideration because of what he did at The Senior Bowl. Now he's got to continue the process, run well, do well in the meetings, present yourself well, work, and that's what this kid is. People are going to like him because he works so hard.
Q. Do you see him going to an outside linebacker in a three-four situation?
MIKE MAYOCK: I don't know if he's athletic enough to stand up and drop and do all those things. I'm anxious to see what his height, width, and arm length are. I've got that all from The Senior Bowl obviously. Will have him do with the conversion guys, all the defensive end that's will stand up and do linebacker drills.
I'm anxious to see him do those drills. I'm just not sure he's going to be as good at that as he is at rushing the quarterback.
Q. Want to ask you about a couple Alabama guys as well. Does the injury to Josh Chapman or Mark Barron or the recent arrest to Dre Kirkpatrick, does that hurt their draft stock at all?
MIKE MAYOCK: You've probably heard me say a lot of times that this thing is a process. We in the media all of us tend to have knee-jerk reactions to things and I think the NFL let it play out a little bit more.
So if you take those situations one at a time, Dre' or Kirkpatrick, the knee-jerk reaction is, oh, my goodness. Drug arrest, blah, blah, blah. Well, that didn't turn out to be too much. I don't think in the world of the NFL -- are they going to do their homework? Absolutely. Is it a minor red flag? You bet it is, and they're going to do their homework.
But I don't think on its face, if there's nothing beyond that, I don't think it's going to hurt them at all.
As far as Barron the safety, I would have loved to have seen him workout. But his body of work on tape is very strong. He's the number one safety on just about everybody's charts. Everybody's hoping that he'll have an opportunity to work out prior to the draft.
But you can go back to the tight end the Heath Miller, who had the hernia surgery and was never able to work out. And the Pittsburgh Steelers got a great bargain for him at the end of the first round. I think Mark Barron's going to be fine because his body of work speaks for itself.took out of Virginia,
Now we all want to see him work out, but I think his tape is really good. Now the defensive tackle, the Chapman kid is what he is. He's a strong, tough, defensive lineman. The combine wasn't going to do a whole lot for him anyway.