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Highlights from Mike Mayock's conference call

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock held his annual pre-Combine conference call Monday, and touched on a number of different topics that could interest Lions fans.

On the down defensive end group:

When looking at just the down edge rushers, Mayock says this could be a tricky draft for a team that predominantly plays in a 4-3 looking to boost their edge.

That being said, new Lions head coach Matt Patricia doesn't appear to be married to any particular defensive scheme, saying he likes to be multiple. But if a down edge rusher is on Detroit's wish list via the NFL Draft, Mayock thinks teams looking for one will have to do their homework.

View photos of the prospects participating in the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

He considers NC State's Bradley Chubb a can't miss prospect who'll long be off the board long before Detroit picks at No. 20. After him, Mayock thinks Marcus Davenport (Texas-San Antonio) and Arden Key (LSU) are the two other first-round-caliber talents as 4-3 edge rushers.

"Marcus Davenport (Texas-San Antonio) will probably be gone. If he's not, I'd jump all over him at No. 20," Mayock said.

"Arden Key from LSU is a really talented kid with off-the-field issues. His character has to be checked, but he's gifted.

"They are the three primary 4-3 edge guys. Beyond that it's hard because there's a lot of 3-4 smaller, quicker edge guys but not the 4-3 guys, like (Detroit would) like to see."

Mayock mentioned Ohio State's Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard, and USC's Rasheem Green, as other traditional 4-3 edge rushers that are more Day 2 picks.

"I think if you're Detroit and you're looking for the edge, it would be Marcus Davenport, Arden Key or you also have to look at running back ... and interior offensive line," he said.

On the talent and depth along the interior of the offensive line:

Speaking of those interior offensive linemen, the top of the class is really good, according to Mayock.

"Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame) will be gone early," Mayock said. "I think the next group of guys is Isaiah Wynn (Georgia), James Daniels (Iowa), Will Hernandez (UTEP) and Billy Price (Ohio State). I think they'll all probably go worst case by the end of the second (round) and beginning of the third.

"Then Frank Ragnow (Arkansas), Braden Smith (Auburn) and a guy I really like, who doesn't get a lot of publicity, is Austin Corbett from Nevada."

On Georgia running back Nick Chubb:

Mayock is pretty high on Chubb after watching his tape. He said Chubb is a classic one-cut, north and south running back that he described as a warrior running the ball.

View photos of the prospects participating in the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

On the top defensive tackles in this class:

He has four defensive tackles graded as worthy of a first-round pick. He said it's a stacked group early in the draft with players who can rush the passer from the inside. That list includes Vita Vea (Washington), Da'Ron Payne (Alabama), Maurice Hurst (Michigan) and Taven Bryan (Florida).

On the player Mayock considers a very unique prospect:

He prefaced his description of Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, 19, by saying he doesn't throw around the word "unique" very often, but had no better way to describe the versatile linebacker.

At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Mayock evaluated him as an off-the-ball linebacker with the ability to play off the edge and rush the passer in sub packages.

Mayock couldn't compare him to anyone currently in the NFL.

On this class of receivers:

This is an unpredictable year for receivers. After Alabama's Calvin Ridley and Texas A&M's Christian Kirk, Mayock thinks teams could be all over the board in their evaluation of the rest of the class in rounds two through four.  

Quote of the call:

"If (Vita Vea) runs 4.9 at 340 pounds, to me that's more impressive than John Ross running 4.22."

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