Inside The Bills

Where Kiper and Mayock differ

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2009 – 3:06 pm

While Mel Kiper has released his mock draft, in which he has the Bills taking Oklahoma St. TE Brandon Pettigrew, who has been tearing it up at the Senior Bowl incidentally, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock differs with him when it comes to the top two quarterbacks in the draft this year.

Kiper has Stafford going to Detroit at #1 and Mark Sanchez #3 to Kansas City. While I don’t question for a second that both teams sorely need a franchise QB, Mayock makes a very good point with respect to both QBs being far less experienced than the fifth-year senior QBs that came out last year in Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan and enjoyed great success as rookies.

“My concern with the underclassmen this year with Sanchez in particular was 16 starts,” said Mayock. “He can make every throw and I’m totally impressed with his arm strength, athletic ability, and toughness. Is he a talent that is starting quarterback worthy? Absolutely.

“My problem with he and Stafford is I don’t think they’ll be ready in the immediate future,” Mayock said. “I think 13 or 14 more starts would have helped Mark become a better quarterback. His pocket awareness and presence I would question for him and Stafford. Whether they can stand in an NFL pocket and keep their eyes downfield and make NFL throws and get rid of the football on time. I look at Ryan and Flacco and they are amazing talents, but they also had an emotional maturity and toughness about them. For Sanchez and Stafford I think they’re a bit of a project because they need more time.”

Due to their lack of experience on the college level, Mayock wonders if either are worthy of taking even in the top 10.

“I don’t know where he’s going to go and where Stafford is going to go,” Mayock said. “It’s way too early in the process. If you’re going to draft a quarterback high he’s got to play immediately and I don’t know that either are ready to step in immediately. That’s the first question I ask immediately. I’m not sure I’m taking (either of them) in the top 10 if they’re going to sit for a year or two.”

I tend to agree with Mayock. Ryan and Flacco’s success was based in part on their vast experience at the college level. Their greatest qualities were their ability to handle pressure in the pocket, make plays and not get rattled. You have to wonder if Stafford and Sanchez will be able to do the same. I think the odds are certainly lower that they will if thrust into the starting lineup right away.

But a desperate team like Detroit may not have a choice.

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