Boy are the Bucs in a tough position. Although Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has yet to declare for the NFL Draft, it is expected that he does. Once that becomes official, the Buccaneers will be faced with choosing Mariota or Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
So many scouts and analysts have weighed on both potential top picks. Some have provided on-field breakdowns on how they view each prospect while others have merely debated their characters. But for NFL.com’s Mike Mayock, he touches on everything.
Appearing on Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio, Mayock was asked about what he saw in both quarterback prospects.
“The whole Mariota-Winston thing is contrary, they’re opposites,” Mayock said. “For Mariota, he checks off every box off the field and intangibles. He’s hardworking, he’ll be the first kid in the building every day and he’ll stay until whenever he has to stay at night. He checks off all the physical traits -- arm strength, athleticism, feet, speed, everything. He’s got all those things. I’ve only done three of his games so far but when I look at my notes, the two issues I have with him: Number one is lack of consistent accuracy, which is a big deal for me, and number two is inconsistent pocket awareness.”
Mayock would add that even with the concern of Mariota’s play on the field, you can’t knock a kid for what he hasnt done in college. He notes that the Oregon product was never asked to have pocket awareness and play close to a pro-style scheme. Mayock ends his thoughts on Mariota by saying due to his concerns it makes Mariota a “projection” rather than a sure-bet.
Mayock would then move on to Winston, where he was big on his quarterback play but questioned his off the stuff saying there is some doubt the 21-year old should go first overall.
“When you look at Jameis Winston, you can see anticipation,” Mayock said. “He trusts receivers, he throws to a spot, he’s in the pocket, he slides and moves, he gets smacked in the face and makes the throws. He [also] has inconsistent accuracy. But the big thing with him is you’re going to check off all the physical traits and you can see what you want on the film. But the question’s going to be, If you draft him No. 1 overall or No. 2, 3, or whatever, do you want this kid who’s had all these off the field issues to be the face of the franchise. And that’s a big deal given all that has gone on in the NFL this last year.”
Mayock’s words echo that of what I was told by those close to the Bucs about Mariota’s play early last week. Winston has been and will be perhaps the most talented prospect pre and post draft of the two.
However, as often said right here on BucsBlitz.com, both come with question marks and it’ll be up to the Buccaneers to decide if they are truly leaning towards one side or the either.
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