ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay held a conference call on Friday. It wasn't quite the two-hour marathon NFL Network's Mike Mayock had, but McShay offered some good tidbits. Here are the highlights:
On Buffalo and Matt Barkley
One player to keep in mind for the Buffalo Bills is Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley. McShay said he's skeptical about what you hear this time of year, but he hears the Bills are "very high" on Barkley. If they take him, Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib might get drafted later than expected. But can the Bills wait until the 41st pick to take a quarterback?
"How willing are you to gamble? How good do you feel about your situation and willing to see Nassib or Barkley on another team? That's ultimately what you have to ask yourself," McShay said. "You would assume that Nassib is their guy (because of familiarity). But with Matt Barkley, if you think he's the better quarterback, I don't think you worry about that aspect of it. The closer we get, (Buffalo is) becoming the most fascinating team in the draft. Which quarterback do they really like?"
McShay also noted that Landry Jones of Oklahoma could be picked in the late second or early third round. He noted that because of his developmental potential, Tyler Bray of Tennessee could be a "huge" steal. He thinks fourth or fifth round for Zac Dyster of Miami (Ohio) and Ryan Griffin of Tulane.
On Luke Joeckel and offensive tackles
"Joeckel's floor is extremely high. I compare (Joeckel) to Joe Staley to a certain degree. I can't imagine him coming in and being a bust. He's durable. Great football character. He's a technician. He can run block. He's strong enough and works to finish. Ideally, he's suited for a zone blocking scheme, but he could fit any scheme.
"(Eric) Fisher may be a slightly better athlete. When you compare the two, Fisher's not as technically sound. You also don't see the tape against top competition. Joeckel has the highest floor of the three offensive tackles. To me, that seems to be the right pick (for Kansas City) because there's very little bust potential. If Kansas City decides to take Fisher over Joeckel, it's not a huge stretch. There's not a big difference to me. All three of these guys belong in the top 10. With Joeckel, the floor is the highest. With Lane Johnson, the ceiling is the highest. You're taking a little bit of a risk (with Johnson) because you've only seen him at left tackle for a year. The ceiling is so high and with the tape toward the end of the year, it wouldn't surprise me to see him be the fifth pick."
On Ryan Nassib
"At first, I didn't see it. But you've gotta watch every game. Some guys just grow on you and just the opposite. Guys who don't necessarily look the part, they grow on you because they do the little things right. I put Nassib in that category. He doesn't have the best physique. He's not the best athlete in the world. The biggest issue for me is consistency with his touch. When you watch games later in the season, you see a difference in where he's able to place the ball. But he still has to make improvement in that regard."
McShay, a quarterback in college, called Nassib's release "unique," and he may have to work on it.
"If he does that, I think he can wind up being a very good player. The intermediate throws, he's outstanding. I think he can be a solid to good starter at the next level."
On Boise State CB Jamar Taylor
McShay referred to Taylor as a very consistent corner. He noted that he was harder to evaluate in 2012 because his competition wasn't quite as good – particularly compared to the other top corners this year. McShay liked Taylor's consistency.
"He was extremely consistent throughout the year. He's not the biggest or strongest, but he's willing (as a tackler). WIth the speed he has, the fluid hips, at the very least he can contribute in sub packages right away and in a year or two be a starter. Could be a first-round pick."
On Tennessee Tech wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers
Before the season, McShay gave Tennessee Tech wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers a second-round grade based on Tennessee tape. After transferring down a level due to off-field issues, he's not quite as high on him.
"When you look at it, there's some risk/reward with him. He's a competitive player on the field. A lot of time, the guys with the red flag, they don't play very hard. It's really not the case with him. He's not afraid to block. He's just avery good athlete. He probably loses out on a round, but he could land on Day 2 in the middle of the third round. He could be a value pick if he stays on the straight and narrow."
On West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin
"Are you going to trade up for Tavon Austin if you're St. Louis? I'm not sure you trade up for a guy in the 5'10 range who is a slot receiver."
On Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde
"He's got the size. Adequate speed. He makes plays. He flashes the ability to make plays in big games. I don't know if he's ever going to be a great man to man cover corner. He just doesn't have that great top end speed. He plays with balance and under control. Overall, his instincts are adequate. I think you're looking somewhere in the early Day 3 range. He's someone who can absolutely contribute on special teams and be a No. 3 or 4 cornerback if everything works out at the next level."
On Oklahoma wide receiver Kenny Stills
Kenny Stills has potential. I don't know if he's reached his potential. I don't think was as consistent catching the football as he could be. More consistent reps could help him. Does he have the natural instincts as a receiver, or the hunger, to go over the middle? I think he's athletic and smooth, and I think a team is going to take a chance on him in the middle rounds.
On Florida linebackers
"Jelani Jenkins, unfortunately, just couldn't stay healthy. He plays fast. One of the better natural cover linebacker that I evaluated coming into the year. This year he was just never healthy. He missed four games with multiple injuries. He's undersized. He's gotta get stronger. It wouldn't surprise me if he goes in the fourth round. There's a lot of upside."
"The more tape I watched of him, the more I appreciated Jon Bostic. He's always around the ball. I think he can continue to play faster as he learns to diagnose quicker. Solid to good tackling, heavy hitter. He plays hard."