MU's Maclin not invited to NFL draft showcase
By MIKE DeARMOND
The Kansas City Star
Jeremy Maclin feels certain he will be picked in the first round of the NFL draft. But he’ll find out where — and when — from the comfort of his home in St. Louis.
“I didn’t get invited,” Maclin said of the April 25-26 gathering at draft central in New York City.
The Missouri All-American — a wide receiver and return specialist — has generally been projected as the No. 7 pick in the first round, a selection currently held by the Oakland Raiders.
Normally, players projected to be taken in the top 10 have been invited to attend the draft in person.
But Maclin told The Star on Monday he’s not worried about his draft status, nor feeling slighted.
“I’m fine with it,” Maclin said. “I’m not tripping off that.
“I’ve seen as high as sixth and as low as 17. I’ve seen the Raiders quite a bit.”
Maclin said what he is looking at is the balance of individual team needs.
“In the top 10, there are five teams that need receivers, badly,” Maclin said. “But they also need offensive tackles.
“There are four top tackles. There’s Andre Smith (Alabama), and Jason Smith (Baylor), Eugene Monroe (Virginia) and Michael Oher (Mississippi).
“It just depends on who comes off the board.
“Jacksonville (No. 8 pick) needs a receiver. But they also need an offensive tackle and they also might go with a quarterback.
“The Raiders need tackles, but they also need receivers. The same thing with Cincinnati (No. 6 pick). But they also need tackles.
“Now Cleveland (No. 5 pick), with Donte Stallworth being in trouble (DUI manslaughter charge), that’s another team that needs receivers now. But they also need defense.”
Maclin said he will watch the proceedings on television, but he doesn’t anticipate that emotionally he’ll be on edge.
“I’m not nervous at all,” Maclin said.
In fact, Maclin had a question of his own, regarding Missouri spring football — particularly an offense that will have to replace Maclin, tight end Chase Coffman and quarterback Chase Daniel.
“How’s that offense looking out there?” Maclin said.
Maclin said he was on hand Thursday in Columbia for MU’s mini-scrimmage and that heading into Saturday’s spring wrap with the Black & Gold Game, he has every confidence that Blaine Gabbert is ready to step into the shoes of Daniel.
“Blaine Gabbert is going to be very, very good,” Maclin said. “He has three years, and that dude is going to be very, very good.
“I saw it all during last year. I saw it during that scrimmage. He’s throwing balls in traffic, on the money.”
Maclin stressed that Gabbert won’t be just a passing quarterback.
“He’s tough as nails,” Maclin said. “He’ll take off and run over somebody, too.”