It was a year ago when NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock released his one and only mock draft on the eve of the draft it self. In that mock, Mayock threw Arizona Cardinals fans for a loop when he had them, taking tackle D.J. Humphries. There was fan outrage. Then it turned out Mayock was dead on. That's who the Cardinals picked.
So when Mayock released his one mock draft for the first round of this year's draft, it should make you pay attention.
Mayock has the Arizona Cardinals taking a cornerback,but one with varying grades depending on the team. He has them nabbing Miami cornerback Artie Burns, although he does say to watch out for a trade back.
The Cardinals don't have a second-round pick, so they could trade back here with a team looking for a quarterback. I know teams with a third-round grade on Burns and others that believe he could end up the best corner in this draft.
Burns is one of the draft's biggest boom or bust guys, according to Lance Zierlein.
His stock has skyrocketed since defensive backs coaches have been able to dig into his tape. Burns catches like a wide receiver and is a championship hurdler, so you know he's athletic. The tape and technique are raw and uneven, and Burns appears to coast on his athleticism too often. Great potential, but a projection player with a lower floor.
Burns does have the size/speed combination they want in a defensive back. They have a need at cornerback. Is he a guy who will be able to make an impact in Year 1? That is a different story.
Mayock was right a year ago. Will he be right again?