NFL Network’s Mike Mayock recently released his list of the top-100 prospects in this year’s draft.
You can check out the whole thing for yourself, but here are a few things that stood out.
* Houston’s D.J. Hayden is Mayock’s top cornerback (No. 14 overall), ahead of Alabama’s Dee Milliner. Hayden has probably the most remarkable story of any prospect in the draft. During a practice last November, he collided with a teammate and nearly lost his life.
From NFL.com’s Andrea Kremer:
“The main blood vessel, the vena cava, bringing blood from the lower extremities back to the heart, was nearly completely torn off the back of the heart,” [Dr. Ron] Albarado said.
“It’s an unusual day at work to have a guy rushed to your surgical suite right off the football field with an injury we’re used to seeing coming from a major trauma setting,” said Dr. Walter Lowe, team doctor for the University of Houston and the Houston Texans. “There’s no precedent on the athletic field. There’s car wrecks and those kinds of things, but not in an athletic event — in explosions, war or other places.”
Per Mayock, as teams have done their homework on Hayden, they’ve reached the conclusion that his medical is not a concern.
“Most of the teams have come to the conclusion that it was a once-in-a-gazillion situation,” Mayock said. “That has no more chance of happening than it did in the first place.”
Greg Cosell of NFL Films also has Hayden ranked as his top corner, telling Yahoo Sports he’s “the most physically gifted cornerback in this class.”
If you think Alabama’s Milliner could be an option for the Eagles in the first round, you have to include Hayden in the mix too. I think it’s unlikely that the Birds go with either guy at No. 4, but if they trade down, corner is a possibility.
* Mayock has Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher as his top player. The guess here is that the Chiefs still go with Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel. Fisher is an option for the Eagles at No. 4, but a team might want to move up (either with the Eagles or the Raiders at No. 3) to take him.
* Star Lotulelei is down at No. 11. If the Eagles really like him, perhaps Lotulelei is a trade-down candidate.
* Geno Smith is down at 21, but he’ll likely still go in the top-10, and quite possibly, in the top-five. Mayock’s No. 2 quarterback is E.J. Manuel, who he ranks 41st overall. If NFL teams agree with him, chances are, Manuel won’t be around when the Eagles are on the clock with the 35th pick (second round).
* I fully expect the Eagles to add more pieces to their secondary in the first three rounds. Mayock has 14 cornerbacks and six safeties in his top-100.