NFL.com’s draft analyst Mike Mayock had his annual conference call today with 200-plus media members from all over the place. With all the talk surrounding the draft, the talk was expected to be about Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
Mayock started by saying he did not envy Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and head coach Lovie Smith for being in position to draft first overall. The veteran analyst is not a fan of this quarterback class as he says it is very thin.
Although he feels it’s thin, he feels the Bucs go with Winston No. 1 overall. He prefaced that by saying he has concerns on the field with the 21-year-old FSU product due to the interceptions he threw in 2014. He praised his pocket awareness as well as his drive but questions whether or not he can be the face of the franchise due to his off-field problems.
On Mariota, Mayock emphasized that the Oregon quarterback will be a projection. He questions whether Mariota can lead a pro-style offense. And when asked if the New York Jets have an opportunity to draft him at No. 6, Mayock said it depends on how the new regime truly feels about quarterback Geno Smith. No interest in Mariota could see him slide deep in the draft. Mayock referenced the trust and belief the Tennessee Titans may have in quarterback Zach Mettenberger.
Over the weekend, a report from the Cleveland sports radio world reported the Browns may be willing to trade picks No. 12 and 19 along with quarterback Johnny Manziel to the Buccaneers for one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft. Mayock addressed that by saying Cleveland should stay put and not trade those picks away.