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Notre Dame Football: Mike Mayock Discusses DeShone Kizer, Brandon Wimbush & the 2017 NFL Draft’s QB Class

The NFL Network analyst says, “All these quarterbacks this year are not ready.”

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Mayock, a defensive-back-turned-NFL-analyst, visited “The Jack Swarbrick Show” last week to offer his impressions of DeShone Kizer, Brandon Wimbush and the 2017 NFL Draft quarterback class.

“A year ago today, I would have banged the table for Carson Wentz all day long,” Mayock told host Jack Nolan. “I was all in on Carson Wentz. I don’t have a quarterback this year that I’m all in on. And most of the NFL teams don’t either.”

The full transcript of Mayock’s comments about these three subjects is below the video.


Jack Nolan: Let’s start with the guy that everybody in the country is talking about: DeShone Kizer. Both what you saw today and your overall impressions of him.

Mike Mayock: I saw what I expected to see and that is he’s 6-foot-4 1/2, 235 pounds. He’s what today’s NFL wants in a quarterback — a franchise type quarterback — the size, all of his physical traits match up.

He’s got a big arm. He’s athletic enough. He’s a pocket thrower. He’s a smart kid. He could be a leader of a franchise, a face of a franchise. So, when you start from that premise, it gets the NFL excited.

Now, I think there’s some inconsistencies in his game. You see it on game tape. You watch him for three quarters and he makes a bunch of great throws. And then, all of a sudden, a couple of bad ones. Lack of accuracy — his feet aren’t tying to his upper body. I think what he and his quarterback coach — Zac Robinson — were working on since the season ended was that footwork. Really working hard on the footwork. You could see it today. NFL footwork is completely different than college. So he’s got to learn five, five with the hitch, seven step. All the movement stuff — he looked really good on the movement stuff.

What I saw today mirrored what I really saw during the season. When he gets his feet, hips, shoulders lined up, it’s beautiful. The ball comes out as good as anybody can throw a football. However, when he gets a little bit out of sync, the ball sails or tails or whatever and you see that inaccurate throw.

So he’s got to get more consistent — and he’s working on it. He’s doing a nice job working on it.

I would love to see him get in a situation where he didn’t have to start day one and he had a quarterback in his late 30s that’s had a great career and he could learn from. You know, Carson Palmer in Arizona. Drew Brees in New Orleans. One of those situations where he could sit for a year or two and just sponge it all up, work on his footwork and hopefully two to three years from now, be a heck of a quarterback.

Nolan: Which teams are you hearing right now are really high on him?

Mayock: I think all the teams that are quarterback-needy for whatever reason — whether it’s today or a year or two from now — are looking at him. And I think they’re doing the same thing I am.

A year ago today, I would have banged the table for Carson Wentz all day long. I was all in on Carson Wentz. I don’t have a quarterback this year that I’m all in on. And most of the NFL teams don’t either.

So the process we’re going through right now is: I saw Watson at his Pro Day last week. I saw Trubisky at his two days ago. I saw Kizer today. I’m going to see Mahomes next week at Texas Tech. I’m not going to get to Cal to see the kid at Cal, Webb.

But I’m doing the same thing the NFL teams are doing. And that is — yeah, we want to see him throw. But you really want to meet the kid and spend time with him. You want to have dinner with him. You want to put him up on the board, watch tape with him and challenge what he knows or doesn’t know.

And I think — to answer your question finally — I think all of the teams are trying to grind these kids a little bit to see who they want as the face of their franchise. And I don’t think any of them know yet.

Nolan: Fans always have their own self interest at heart, even if they say they don’t. So for fans who thought DeShone should come back and wanted him back next year — from what you just told me and what else I’ve read, he made the right decision coming out now.

Mayock: Well, you know I’m a little bit old school. I think all these quarterbacks this year are not ready. Watson had a year left. Trubisky had a year left. Kizer has a year left.

My heart — my gut - tells me I wish these kids — DeShone’s leaving here 12-11 as a starter, as a Notre Dame quarterback. That’s not good enough, you know? And obviously, they were 4-8 last year. But I would have loved to have seen him just say, “I’m going to grab this program right now and we’re going to go chase a national championship.”

Now, it’s a different world today. If you think you’re going to go in the first round, gosh, I’d be the last one to say, “Stay.” So I have conflicting emotions about all of these quarterbacks. Because last year when — like I said — Carson Wentz came out, I knew he was ready. It was easy. Those four quarterback I just mentioned, none of them are ready.

So it’s hard to put a first round grade on a quarterback when you know he’s not going to play for at least a year.

Nolan: But there’s a likelihood that some of those guys are going to go in the first round.

Mayock: Oh, there is. They’re being artificially pushed up. The higher you go — if you’re a top 10 pick, there’s an awful lot of pressure for that coach to play you. You saw what happened with Jared Goff last year in L.A. He wasn’t ready and they took a lot of guff out there.


Nolan: The natural follow up — and it’s away from the guys at the Pro Day — and you may have not been able to see him much. So, defer — but Brandon Wimbush is now in the number one slot for Notre Dame. What do you think of him from what you may have been able to see?

Mayock: I don’t know anything about him, other than when I was doing the Notre Dame games a few years back they were all excited — the coaches were — about this recruit from New Jersey. They felt like he had everything, from arm strength, athletic ability, leadership especially. They were fired up about Wimbush.