Mike Mayock has been the NFL Network's chief draft analyst since 2005. Each year, he does an exclusive position-by-position breakdown of the draft for the Inquirer and Daily News, selecting the best player at each position, plus the top riser and sleeper.

Mayock, who lives in Newtown Square, is a graduate of the Haverford School and was a three-year starting safety for Boston College. He was a 10th-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1981 and played two seasons with the New York Giants. He was the 2017 recipient of the Jack Horrigan award from the Pro Football Writers of America, presented to a league or club official who helps reporters covering the NFL do their job.

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

Sam Darnold passing during Southern Cal’s win over Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game in December 2017.
Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP
Sam Darnold passing during Southern Cal’s win over Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game in December 2017.

THE BEST

Sam Darnold

Southern Cal

6-3, 221

40 time: 4.85 seconds

Vertical jump: 26½ inches

Hands: 9 3/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (top 10)

Mayock's take: "He has plus size and plus arm strength. He's athletic. He can win from within the pocket, but he also has the ability to extend plays and win with his arm and legs. When he scrambles or moves, it's with the intent of getting the ball down the field. His eyes are always up.

"The biggest thing he needs to work on are the turnovers, specifically the fumbles. He's fumbled more than just about any quarterback I can remember. So, ball security in the pocket is going to be a big deal with him. This kid is very competitive. Everybody makes a big deal about [Baker] Mayfield's competitiveness. But this kid is right there with him. He's an athletic, competitive, intelligent, football-passionate kid.''

THE RISER

Josh Allen

Wyoming

6-5, 237

40 time: 4.75 seconds

Vertical jump: 33½ inches

Hands: 10 1/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (top 10)

Mayock's take: "People were killing him during the season for his lack of accuracy and the program he came out of. Then, he went to the Senior Bowl and opened some eyes, and not only with his arm talent. He's got the biggest arm I've seen in years, but teams also have been impressed with his work ethic and football IQ.

"Kurt Warner told me years ago that when a quarterback's feet and eyes are connected, it equals accuracy. You see with this kid, and a lot of other tall quarterbacks, that their eyes see something more quickly. Their feet aren't there. And they throw from an awkward platform, and the ball's ugly. I think you see this with him a lot.

"So, there's no question that he's got a lot of work to do with respect to anticipation and timing and footwork. That's why he's going to be a little bit of a project. But he's got the biggest upside of any quarterback in the class.''

THE SLEEPER

Kyle Allen

Houston

6-3, 210

40 time: 4.71 seconds

Vertical jump: 28½ inches

Hands: N/A

Round projection: 6

Mayock's take: "He's a conventional drop-back passer with a real good arm. He got himself into a couple of [off-the-field] situations, first at Texas A&M, where he succeeded Johnny Manziel, and then after transferring to Houston, where the coach left and they went with a different style of quarterback. Bottom line is he has live-arm talent. He understands the game of football. He just doesn't have many reps.''

RUNNING BACKS

Saquon Barkley celebrating a touchdown against Michigan last season. Mayock has Barkley rated higher than Zeke Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Todd Gurley – three players who helped their teams from Day 1.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Saquon Barkley celebrating a touchdown against Michigan last season. Mayock has Barkley rated higher than Zeke Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Todd Gurley – three players who helped their teams from Day 1.

THE BEST

Saquon Barkley

Penn State

6-0, 233

40 time: 4.40 seconds

Vertical jump: 41 inches

225-pound bench press: 29 reps

Hands: 9½ inches

Round projection: 1 (top 10)

Mayock's take: "He's special. Zeke Elliott, [Leonard] Fournette, and [Todd] Gurley all were top-10 picks and made their teams better on Day 1. I've got this kid rated higher than those three. And he's as clean off the field as anybody in the draft.

"The only negative really are the minus-yards plays. You can pick eight or 10 of them out, against Ohio State probably. But it's just him twisting and turning and bouncing and trying to make something out of nothing. That's a very, very minor negative.

"The bottom line is his lower-body strength and explosion are off the charts, which means his contact balance is, also. He can catch the ball. He can pass-protect. He's a three-down back who can do it all. [He's one of the three best players in this draft.]''

THE RISER

Sony Michel

Georgia

5-10, 214

40 time: 4.54 seconds

Vertical jump: N/A

225-pound bench press: 22 reps

Hands: 9 1/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (20-32)

Mayock's take: "The success of Alvin Kamara last year has really helped Michel's stock, because he's a very similar type of back. I don't know if he's as good a receiver as Kamara, but he makes you miss. He's tough. He's physical.

"He rotated at Georgia with Nick Chubb and only averaged 11 carries a game. But that's OK. Like Kamara, he'll be best sharing the backfield. And, let's face it, that's what the NFL is anyway.''

THE SLEEPER

Demario Richard

Arizona State

5-9, 218

40 time: 4.70 seconds

Vertical jump: 29½ inches

225-pound bench press: 12 reps

Hands: 9 ¼ inches

Round projection: 6-7

Mayock's take: "He's a bowling ball, and he's as physical and as tough a runner as there is in the draft. He beat out a kid named Kalen Ballage, who probably will go in the third or fourth round just because he's a height, weight, and speed guy. Richard doesn't have half the physical talent that Ballage does but still beat him out and rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns.

"You can use him on special teams. He's going to go late, if at all. But he's a really physical back.''

WIDE RECEIVERS

Maryland’s D.J. Moore, an Imhotep Charter grad, is Mayock’s top-rated wide receiver in the 2017 NFL draft.
Michael Conroy / AP
Maryland’s D.J. Moore, an Imhotep Charter grad, is Mayock’s top-rated wide receiver in the 2017 NFL draft.

THE BEST

D.J. Moore

Maryland

6-0, 210

40 time: 4.42 seconds

Vertical jump: 39½ inches

225-pound bench press: 15 reps

Arms: 31 5/8 inches

Hands: 9 5/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (20-32)

Mayock's take: "He reminds me of Golden Tate from a style perspective. He's built like a running back, and he runs like a running back with the ball in his hands. He's just as fast as [Alabama's Calvin] Ridley but has inside-out versatility, where I think Ridley is just an outside receiver.

"He's not as good a route runner [as Ridley]. He's not as polished. I think it's going to take him a little while to figure it out. But he plays with an edge, an attitude. He's physical and tough, and I just find myself drawn more to his style than Ridley's.''

THE RISER

D.J. Chark

LSU

6-3, 199

40 time: 4.34 seconds

Vertical jump: 40 inches

225-pound bench press: 16 reps

Arms: 32 3/8 inches

Hands: 9 ¼ inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock's take: "He's the definition of a riser. My concern off his tape was whether he could finish catches. He had some plays against Alabama where he got the ball ripped out. He's a vertical guy. Runs in the low 4.3s. Tall. He's a height-weight-speed guy. A vertical-stretch guy.

"But he went to the Senior Bowl and finished catches and showed separation underneath and really helped himself. Then he went to the combine and ran in the low 4.3s. I was at his pro day. He's getting better as a route runner. He still has a ways to go, but he's working at his craft.''

THE SLEEPER

Russell Gage

LSU

6-0, 184

40 time: 4.42 seconds

Vertical jump: 40 inches

225-pound bench press: 15 reps

Arms: 31¾ inches

Hands: 9 inches

Round projection: 6-7

Mayock's take: "The correlation here is Mack Hollins a year ago. I've had several special-teams coaches tell me this guy might be the best kickoff and punt cover guy in the country. And he's developed as a wide receiver as well. He ran a 4.42 at his pro day. I think he's a late draftable.

"The nice thing for him and the team that drafts him — if he even gets drafted — is that I think he'll be up [active] for all 16 games because of special teams. And that gives a wide-receivers coach an extra guy to work with. And this kid runs some pretty good routes and has excellent hands.''

TIGHT ENDS

South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst, pictured in a September 2017 game vs. Texas A&M, is one tight-end prospect who has a chance of going in the first round.
Sam Craft / AP
South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst, pictured in a September 2017 game vs. Texas A&M, is one tight-end prospect who has a chance of going in the first round.

THE BEST

Hayden Hurst

South Carolina

6-4, 250

40 time: 4.67 seconds

Vertical jump: 31 1/8 inches

225-pound bench press: 16 reps

Arms: 32¾ inches

Hands: 9¾ inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock's take: "I don't have any tight ends in the first round right now, though one of them certainly could go in the first. I like Hurst because he's one of the few top-level guys who you could at least see doing some blocking. And trust me, he's not a trained killer. But on the move, wham blocks, kickouts, he can do some of that for you. He's not afraid of it. He's athletic. A former baseball player. You can see in his route-running [that] he's a very athletic kid with very good hands. He's just a solid tight-end prospect.''

THE RISER

Mike Gesicki

Penn State

6-5, 247

40 time: 4.54 seconds

Vertical jump: 41 ½ inches

225-pound bench press: 22 reps

Arms: 34 inches

Hands: 10 1/8 inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock's take: "He's my riser mostly based on his combine performance, which was off the charts. We all knew he was going to jump. But 41 ½ inches for a guy that size is kind of crazy. And you can see that on film. You can see him high-point the ball and go get the ball.

"The 4.54 that he ran [at the combine], I don't see that on film. I thought he was more a 4.65 guy. He's got a really long stride. It's hard to get that long stride going in a game where people are taking shots at you and forcing you to redirect. It will be very rare that he's going to be able to run unimpeded down the field.

"Having said that, if you like Zach Ertz, I think you're going to love this kid. They're very similar. He's faster than Zach. He's crafty against zone [coverage]. He can out-jump you in man-to-man in tight areas. He's not going to stick his face in the fan and block you. That's not who he is.''

THE SLEEPER

Will Dissly

Washington

6-4, 262

40 time: 4.87 seconds

Vertical jump: 28 inches

225-pound bench press: 15 reps

Arms: 33 ¼ inches

Hands: 9¾ inches

Round projection: 4-5

Mayock's take: "He's the best blocking tight end in the draft. I've had him in my top five since Day 1. He played defensive end his first two years at Washington. So he's a big, physical, tough guy. You can line him up wide, and he won't kill you in the pass game. He was actually better than I expected at short and intermediate stuff. Not many people know him. But trust me, NFL teams that value inline blockers know who he is.''

INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

THE BEST

Quenton Nelson

Notre Dame

6-5, 325

40 time: N/A

Vertical jump: 26½ inches

225-pound bench press: 35 reps

Arms: 33¾ inches

Hands: 10 3/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (top 10)

Mayock's take: "This kid is a monster. As good an interior offensive-line prospect as I can remember seeing. He's one of the three best players in this draft. In addition to being a great football player, he's got a passion and love for the game. He's going to add in a positive way to your offensive-line room.

"It's rare to have a 330-pound guy move as well as he does. There's nobody better in the run game. He has an edge about himself. When you get the confluence of great physical ability plus work ethic plus passion, all that stuff adds up. Barring injury, he's going to have a great, great NFL career.''

THE RISER

Will Hernandez

UTEP

6-2, 327

40 time: 5.14 seconds

Vertical jump: 27 inches

225-pound bench press: 37 reps

Arms: 32 inches

Hands: 9 7/8 inches

Round projection: 1-2 (25-40)

Mayock's take: "I think he's going to appeal to some teams and not others. He was 340 pounds at the Senior Bowl and dropped down to 327 at the combine and had a heckuva workout. Did 37 reps at 225. Ran a 5.13 or something like that.

"He looks a little bit like Richie Incognito. A bigger Incognito. He has a nasty edge to him. I wasn't sure about his speed, but he went to the Senior Bowl and had an outstanding week. He started all 49 games that he played at UTEP at left guard. I think the guy you're going to draft is probably going to wind up being 340 rather than 327. The teams that are more gap or man-scheme teams, as opposed to the zone teams where you've got to run all day long, I think they're going to love this kid.''

THE SLEEPER

Alex Cappa

Humboldt State

6-6, 305

40 time: 5.35 seconds

Vertical jump: 26 ½ inches

225-pound bench press: 24 reps

Arms: 32 5/8 inches

Hands: 9¼ inches

Round projection: 4-5

Mayock's take: "He's a Division II player who was completely off the radar. When I saw he was a potential invitee to the Senior Bowl, I put one of his tapes on and started laughing. I had never seen an offensive lineman just throw people around like he did. Obviously it's Division II. But he was playing left tackle and just throwing guys around, using leverage, punching them, finishing them, burying them, jumping on top of them. He looked like a bouncer at a club.

"He went to the Senior Bowl, and they played him at both tackle and guard, and he competed. It was a huge jump in level of competition, but he handled it. People love his edge. He's got the physical skill set to thrive inside.''

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

Mike McGlinchey, from Notre Dame and Penn Charter, is Mayock’s one highlight in a weak class for offensive tackles.
NAM Y. HUH / AP
Mike McGlinchey, from Notre Dame and Penn Charter, is Mayock’s one highlight in a weak class for offensive tackles.

THE BEST

Mike McGlinchey

Notre Dame

6-8, 309

40 time: N/A

Vertical jump: 28½ inches

225-pound bench press: 24 reps

Arms: 34 inches

Hands: 10 inches

Round projection: 1 (10-20)

Mayock's take: "This isn't a great offensive-tackle class. McGlinchey is the only guy in this class where, if you draft him, you know what you're getting. And what you're getting with McGlinchey is a long offensive tackle who probably is the best run-blocking tackle in this draft. He answers the bell every week. And he probably is going to be your starting left or right tackle for the next 10 years.''

THE RISER

Geron Christian

Louisville

6-5, 298

40 time: 5.33 seconds

Vertical jump: N/A

225-pound bench press: 19 reps

Arms: 35 inches

Hands: 10¾ inches

Round projection: 3

Mayock's take: "No one expected him to declare. He's a third-year junior. But as people started to dive into his tape and then watched his performance at the combine, he's pretty impressive. He's raw. He's got a lot to learn. At Louisville, they do this old-school split-and-tight-tackle thing where you have to be able to play both sides, depending on the formation. That will benefit him at the next level. He's got 35-inch arms. And he's got really good feet. People are looking at him as a potential left-tackle starter, which pushes his value up.''

THE SLEEPER

Will Richardson

North Carolina State

6-6, 306

40 time: 5.22 seconds

Vertical jump: 31½ inches

225-pound bench press: 16 reps

Arms: 35¼ inches

Hands: 9 7/8 inches

Round projection: 5-6

Mayock's take: "Richardson is a right tackle only. He's had some significant off-the-field problems. I'm not hearing much from teams about him because they're worried about him off the field and because he can only play on the right side. But he's a big, square-bodied dude who has better feet than people think. I like his tape. And I think he can be a starting right tackle in this league. He's not going to go until late in the draft.''

DEFENSE

INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Alabama defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne, shown pressuring the Vanderbilt quarterback in September 2017, has a lot of upside.
Mark Humphrey / AP
Alabama defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne, shown pressuring the Vanderbilt quarterback in September 2017, has a lot of upside.

THE BEST

Da'Ron Payne

Alabama

6-2, 311

40 time: 4.90 seconds

Vertical jump: 28 ½ inches

225-pound bench press: 27 reps

Arms: 33 inches

Hands: 9 3/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (10-20)

Mayock's take: "Recent history has shown that, with interior d-linemen, the ability to affect the quarterback is what's most important. If you're just a run-stuffing tackle, you're going to go later than you would have 5-6 years ago. Right now, everybody's really grinding on Payne and Washington's Vita Vea hard, trying to figure out how much they can affect the quarterback.

"The best tape I saw of Payne doing that was the national championship game. He was outstanding. You could see him winning against the center and the guards. Getting up the field, hitting the quarterback, affecting the quarterback. But we didn't see it consistently all year long.

"Teams are looking at Payne and saying, 'OK, is what we saw in the championship game what we're going to get every week? You know he's going to be outstanding against the run. But are we getting a freaky guy that can affect the pass? All of Alabama's defensive linemen are gifted athletes. I feel Payne's best pass-rushing days are still ahead of him.''

THE RISER

Nate Shepherd

Fort Hays State

6-4, 315

40 time: 5.09 seconds

Vertical jump: 31 inches

225-pound bench press: N/A

Arms: 32 3/8 inches

Hands: 10 1/8 inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock's take: "He's a Division II guy by way of Simon Fraser College in Canada who not many people knew very much about until he got to the Senior Bowl. He injured his hamstring the second day of practice at the Senior Bowl. But in just a day-and-a-half, he opened eyes. He has a great combination of size and movement skills. I think 3-4 teams look at him and say, 'Wow, he's a natural 5-technique.' And 4-3 teams look at him and say he could play base on run downs and learn how to be an interior sub [package] rusher. Teams are intrigued by him.''

THE SLEEPER

Deadrin Senat

South Florida

6-0, 314

40 time: 5.16 seconds

Vertical jump: 26 inches

225-pound bench press: 35 reps

Arms: 31 5/8 inches

Hands: 9 ¾ inches

Round projection: 5

Mayock's take: "I saw him at the East-West game. He's an intriguing kid. There's a group of squatty-body nose tackles in this draft that are 6-foot to 6-1, 310 pounds, and move a little better than you think. Senat is one of them. He had three sacks against Texas Tech in their bowl game, where you could see some short-area quickness and explosion off the ball for a squatty-body nose tackle. He's good against the run with that low base. But he's got more pop than people give him credit for as far as getting up the field.''

EDGE RUSHERS

North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb is “one of the three best players in this draft,’’ according to Mayock.
Darron Cummings / AP
North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb is “one of the three best players in this draft,’’ according to Mayock.

THE BEST

Bradley Chubb

North Carolina St.

6-4, 269

40 time: 4.65 seconds

Vertical jump: 36 inches

225-pound bench press: 24 reps

Arms: 34 inches

Hands: 9 7/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (top 10)

Mayock's take: "Chubb reminds me of Joey Bosa. He's 270 pounds with length. He's a sophisticated pass-rusher. He sets a real physical edge in the run game. He doesn't have that elite twitch that Von Miller has but does everything at a really high level. Like Bosa, he has heavy hands. Like Bosa, he has a tremendous motor and can play all three downs. He's one of the three best players in this draft.''

THE RISER

Lorenzo Carter

Georgia

6-5, 250

40 time: 4.53 seconds

Vertical jump: 36

225-pound bench press: N/A

Arms: 34 inches

Hands: 10 3/8 inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock's take: "His production didn't match up with his physical traits. A lot of people kill him for that. I look at it differently. I think Georgia asked him to do a lot of different jobs. He was an edge-rusher. He was an off-the-ball linebacker. He was a hang defender who almost played like a strong safety.

"But he has scary physical traits and length. I think he's going to be a better pro than he was a college player. The 3-4 teams are going to love him as a rush linebacker. He can drop. He's very raw. But he compares favorably with the first-rounder from Georgia a couple of years ago, Leonard Floyd. He's every bit as gifted as Floyd, if not more so.''

THE SLEEPER

Ade Aruna

Tulane

6-5, 262

40 time: 4.60 seconds

Vertical jump: 38 ½ inches

225-pound bench press: 18 reps

Arms: 34 inches

Hands: 10 5/8 inches

Round projection: 4-5

Mayock's take: "He played out of position this year. His production was way down. They played him as a 5-technique in a 3-4. He's really an outside linebacker in a 3-4 or a base end in a 4-3. He's got some height-weight-speed projections. He hung in there playing out of position this year. But I think somebody is going to take him on the third day. He's a raw projection right now, but he's got the physical traits that teams – particularly 3-4 teams – like.''

LINEBACKERS

Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds is a versatile linebacker whom Mayock expects to go in the first round.
Darron Cummings / AP
Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds is a versatile linebacker whom Mayock expects to go in the first round.

THE BEST

Tremaine Edmunds

Virginia Tech

6-4, 253

40 time: 4.54 seconds

Vertical jump: N/A

225-pound bench press: 19 reps

Arms: 34 ½ inches

Hands; 9 3/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (top 10)

Mayock's take: "He won't turn 20 until the week after the draft. He's big and runs in the 4.5s. I can't even think of a [comparison] for him because he's so unique. He has all kinds of upside as an off-the-ball linebacker, which is what he was at Virginia Tech.

"But I also think he's that rare guy who could stick his hand in the dirt and rush the quarterback. He's got length. He's got get-off. He's got some twitch. In today's NFL, it's about affecting the quarterback. You could use him off the ball. He can rush from the 'A' gap. I think you could also line him up as an outside rusher in sub-packages.''

THE RISER

Leighton Vander Esch

Boise State

6-4, 256

40 time: 4.65 seconds

Vertical jump: 39½ inches

225-pound bench press: 20 reps

Arms: 33 7/8 inches

Hands: 9 ¾ inches

Round projection: 1 (20-32)

Mayock's take: "Here's what I think Vander Esch is. I think he is the best zone-drop linebacker in this draft. He's got a nose for crossing routes. He's got a feel for the pass game. He sees things before they happen. He has tremendous lateral speed and can diagnose quickly in the run game. For a big guy, I wish he'd take on big bodies a little more physically. But he's a finesse linebacker at 255 pounds.

"Teams are split on him. Some think he's a middle-of-the-first-round player. Others think he's a second- or third-round guy. I don't understand that, to be honest with you. I think he's going to be a really good linebacker.''

THE SLEEPER

Genard Avery

Memphis

6-0, 248

40 time: 4.59 seconds

Vertical jump: 36 inches

225-pound bench press: 26 reps

Arms: 31 inches

Hands: 10 1/8 inches

Round projection: 4

Mayock's take: "He's a sawed-off edge-rusher. Kind of a quick-twitch, explosive kid, but not long enough to play edge. Watching some of his tapes, I liked that he was able to play off the ball and have some hang-defender ability, some athletic ability. I think he's kind of a poor man's Haason Reddick. An edge guy who's going to be asked to play off the ball. He could be a 'joker' in sub-packages. I like his upside.''

CORNERBACKS

Ohio State’s Denzel Ward is slightly undersized at cornerback but an “easy mover,” Mayock said.
Gregory Payan / AP
Ohio State’s Denzel Ward is slightly undersized at cornerback but an “easy mover,” Mayock said.

THE BEST

Denzel Ward

Ohio State

5-11, 183

40 time: 4.32 seconds

Vertical jump: 39 inches

225-pound bench press: 16 reps

Arms: 31¼ inches

Hands: 8¾ inches

Round projection: 1 (top 12)

Mayock's take:"He's an easy mover. Has oily hips, excellent change-of-direction ability. Great speed. Finds the ball in the air. The only issue or concern with him is, at 183 pounds, how will he hold up?

"He can play press or off [coverage]. But if you're asking him to be a consistent press corner, how's he going to hold up against the big, physical, Julio Jones-type people at the line of scrimmage? At 183 pounds, that's going to be tough.''

THE RISER

Jaire Alexander

Louisville

5-10, 196

40 time: 4.38 seconds

Vertical jump: 35 inches

225-pound bench press: 14 reps

Arms: 31 1/8 inches

Hands: 9½ inches

Round projection: 1 (10-20)

Mayock's take: "He's physical, and he's tough. And he's a punt returner. So there's some [extra] value there. He's got what they call double-cut ability, which is an ability to make two people miss, not just the first guy.

"People like his edge. His biggest issue is he's only 5-10. Regardless of how tough he is or how quick he is or how high he can jump, bigger wideouts still are going to take the ball away from him up high. You can see that on film occasionally. And there's nothing you can do about that.''

THE SLEEPER

Grant Haley

Penn State

5-9, 190

40 time: 4.44 seconds

Vertical jump: 34 inches

225-pound bench press: 15 reps

Arms: 29¾ inches

Hands: 9 1/8 inches

Round projection: 5

Mayock's take: "I like him. He doesn't seem to get as much respect as he deserves. I think he's competitive and feisty. He played inside and outside. Obviously, he's not very big and has short arms. But he's a quick, tough kid who projects inside at nickel. He will tackle and is quick enough to handle some of those slot guys.''

SAFETIES

Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick is a versatile defensive back who can match up against big tight ends such as Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski.
Butch Dill / AP
Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick is a versatile defensive back who can match up against big tight ends such as Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski.

THE BEST

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Alabama

6-0, 204

40 time: 4.46 seconds

Vertical jump: 33 inches

225-pound bench press: 14 reps

Arms: 31¼ inches

Hands: 9 3/8 inches

Round projection: 1 (top 10)

Mayock's take: "In today's NFL, which is a matchup league, he's the kind of chess piece that defensive coordinators love. He can drop down and cover the slot. He can line up at free safety with great range. They played him closer to the ball this year. You can try and figure out how you want to use this kid on almost a week-to-week basis. I think he's a free safety Day 1.

"Some people are projecting him at corner. In this league, where you're trying to match up against slots and tight ends in the middle of the field, this is the rare kind of guy that you can say, 'OK, we're going to drop him down on a slot.' And then, in the next game, or even the next snap, you can line him up on [Rob] Gronkowski or [Travis] Kelce or one of those big tight ends and let him compete.''

THE RISER

Jessie Bates

Wake Forest

6-1, 200

40 time: 4.50 seconds

Vertical jump: 35½ inches

225-pound bench press: 12 reps

Arms: 31 5/8 inches

Hands: 9 ¾ inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock's take: "Teams are struggling to find two centerfielders. There are a lot more strong-safety box guys than there are true centerfielders with great range and ball skills and an ability to tackle. Bates is one of those guys, which is going to push his value up.

"He ran pretty well. If you watch his tape against Louisville, they had him running the alley against the option and tackling Lamar Jackson in the open field. He did a nice job. He's an inconsistent tackler at times. But I think he's going to be a starting free safety, and he's going to start Year 1.

THE SLEEPER

Tarvarius Moore

Southern Miss

6-1, 199

40 time: 4.32 seconds

Vertical jump: 39 ½ inches

225-pound bench press: N/A

Arms: 33 inches

Hands: 9 inches

Round projection: 4-5

Mayock's take: "He was a non-combine guy, but there's been a lot of late buzz about him after he blew it up at his pro day, running in the low 4.3s and jumping nearly 40 inches. He has movement skills and is a pretty good tackler.''