The deadline for underclassmen to enter the NFL draft is one week away—January 15—and already the 2015 class is shaping up to be a good one. With each passing day, more information and more analysis comes in. That's what the Scouting Notebook is here for, to update you on all things NFL draft each Friday.
This week's article is jam-packed with news on seniors and underclassmen, a look at one hit and one miss from my evaluations, a two-round mock draft and 10 players moving up and down on my draft board this month.
Ready? Let's go.
The Scout's Report
— TCU linebacker Paul Dawson is shooting up my board the more I watch him, and in talking with one area scout responsible for Texas, I heard that Dawson really dominated to end the year. The same scout said they view him as a Round 2 player with room to rise.
— Former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham comes with big off-field issues. I asked around this week and one very experienced general manager told me they view him as "undraftable" based on the legwork already done on his background.
— Looking for a Combine star ready to blow up? Missouri defensive end Shane Ray already ranks as a top-six player on my board, but one Missouri coach I talked to this week said Ray could legitimately run in the low 4.4s in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis.
— LSU players texted me earlier this week to say that junior defensive end Danielle Hunter would enter the draft, but there has yet to be official word from Hunter or LSU on that decision. He has one more week to decide officially.
— Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley may be the first tackle drafted if he enters the 2015 class, but in talking to the redshirt sophomore Thursday morning he remains very much undecided on if he'll head back to school or take on the NFL.
— CFL wide receiver Duron Carter is continuing his workout schedule with NFL teams. He recently spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs, and he will end the week with the Minnesota Vikings. I'm told by a source close to Carter that the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns remain on his list of teams to visit.
— NFL.com reported this week that Louisville safety Gerod Holliman is "lazy and doesn't practice hard." Here's what worries me about this—reports about practice almost always come from coaches, as scouts don't see enough practices to have a definitive opinion. Holliman left college as a redshirt sophomore after just one season with the current staff, so you have to wonder if there is an axe to grind.
— I asked a Louisville teammate about Holliman being lazy or not working hard. His reply, "It's sort of his personality. He's a quiet guy that doesn't say a whole lot. I wouldn't categorize him as lazy. He's just casual at times. But I also wouldn't say he gives it everything he has in practice. Pryor and Smith practiced hard last year, but that's because of (former head coach) Strong."
Five Up, Five Down
Each week, "Five Up, Five Down" will monitor the movements of players on my draft board.
5. DE Dante Fowler, Florida
Dante Fowler's last game as a Florida Gator was a great one. Against East Carolina, Fowler dominated with 3.5 sacks and a game-changing performance that included two sacks in the fourth quarter. My Twitter mentions blew up with Fowler's performance, and even friends in the scouting industry were texting to remark on Fowler's game. He ended the regular season as a top-20 pick, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the top 15 come late April.
4. OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
Notre Dame against LSU was a matchup every NFL scout was watching, and most eyes were fixed on the two left tackles in the game. Redshirt sophomore Ronnie Stanley held his own when compared to senior La'el Collins and did an excellent job taking care of the speedy edge-rushers from LSU—especially junior Danielle Hunter, a player considered to be a potential top-50 player in this draft.
3. OT La'el Collins, LSU
The other side of the LSU vs. Notre Dame matchup was La'el Collins, and he looked very good. Collins is a man in the run game and is able to eat up defenders with his first contact. I know some scouts I've talked to think he's too slow-footed to play left tackle, but I disagree and see him as a Day 1 starter there.
2. ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA
Last year, about this time, I began talking about an undersized, over-productive linebacker who had dominated college football but wasn't being praised as a draft prospect due to metrics. I warned against undervaluing this kid, because things like instincts, heart and tackling aren't measured in height or 40 times. That player was Chris Borland, and he rocked out in his rookie season. Eric Kendricks is a similar type of prospect.
Kendricks (6'0", 230 lbs) isn't big, but he's agile, instinctive and packs a punch as a tackler. And there's a good chance he'll be under-valued like Borland was and end up a steal from Day 2.
1. CB JaCorey Shepherd, Kansas
Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. and I go back to his days as an underrated star at Kansas, and that means he can badger me into checking out players he likes in college football. JaCorey Shepherd is that guy in this year's class.
Shepherd, who played wide receiver early in his career, has fluid hips and the feet to turn and run with wide receivers. He's also big enough and physical enough to re-direct players at the line of scrimmage and hang with them through traffic in the early parts of a route. Shepherd doesn't look like a Round 1 or 2 player, but he could slide into Round 3 if he performs well at the Senior Bowl.
1. QB Cody Fajardo, Nevada
The 2015 quarterback class is lacking depth, so I spent the week reviewing some of the options outside of Mariota, Winston, Bryce Petty and Brett Hundley. Is there a sleeper out there?
Up first, Nevada's Cody Fajardo. The hype on him isn't justified, and I struggle to see him having the passing ability to be an NFL quarterback. Accuracy is No. 1 on my list of important traits for an NFL prospect, and Fajardo struggles too often as a pure passer to succeed in the pros.
2. QB Sean Mannion, Oregon State
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion has production and the size NFL teams want, but those numbers are created by the system and not by Mannion's talents. His arm strength is lacking for his stature (6'5", 220 lbs) and his passes are too aimed for the type of coverage windows he'll see in the NFL.
Mannion may be a fine backup quarterback in the NFL, but I don't see starter qualities here.
3. QB Bo Wallace, Ole Miss
If accuracy is the most important trait for a quarterback prospect, then Ole Miss' Bo Wallace will struggle to find a home in the NFL.
Wallace reminds me of Tom Savage in some ways—and especially in that he could see a rise up draft boards based on his size and arm strength, but also in that his hype is greater than his traits or production from those traits.
Wallace's draft position can't be predicted right now, but his talent grade is as a late-rounder.
4. QB Nick Marshall, Auburn
Nick Marshall, quarterback? Not so much.
Marshall is a great athlete, but as a passer he leaves a lot to be desired. If he's interested in a move to running back or safety, that's a more likely option for his NFL future. But as an actual quarterback—one asked to consistently make accurate throws and smart decisions—I don't see him making it in the NFL.
5. QB Dak Prescott, Miss. State
Dak Prescott is a junior at Mississippi State and could head back to college for another year, but I'm told he's torn on that decision and may jump to the NFL draft. If so, it's a mistake.
Prescott is not finished as a passer, and while he's athletic and powerful as a runner, he needs refinement as a pure passer and lacks the accuracy and touch to convince me he's a viable NFL starter at quarterback. Prescott is able to make exciting throws at times, but the fine details needed to make it in the pros aren't there.
Scouting Report: WR Duron Carter, Free Agent
Throughout the 2014 college football season, one prospect will be highlighted each week with a first-look scouting report. This week, a look at former CFL wide receiver Duron Carter. He's free to sign with NFL teams and has recently visited the Colts, Chiefs, Vikings and will visit the 49ers, Panthers and Browns soon.
Wide Receiver Duron Carter, Free Agent (6'5", 209 lbs)
- Powerful, explosive move off the line of scrimmage.
- Has a long, lean frame with excellent wingspan and hand size.
- Adjusts well to the ball in the air and shows good body control on the move.
- Has produced well against professional athletes in CFL last two seasons.
- Can play both in the slot or on the boundary with success.
- Dominant over the middle and isn't afraid to make catches in traffic.
- Solid route-runner with an ankle-breaking inside move on slants and posts.
- Very tough, plays with a chip on his shoulder.
- Very limited college football experience.
- Played at Ohio State and Coffeyville Community College. Enrolled at Alabama and FAU but never played there.
- Went undrafted in 2013 NFL draft due to concerns about maturity and work ethic.
- Has a reputation for being high-maintenance.
- Struggled in CFL to beat a jam and work through physical cornerbacks.
- Tried to make the SportsCenter catch too often and passed up sure-handed grabs.
Pro Player Comparison: Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers
"Dark Part of the Field"
Thursday evening I was talking to an old coaching friend of mine about a wide receiver and he dropped this nugget into my lap. "The dark part of the field." It took me a second to realize what he meant and I didn't want to interrupt.
If you're ever talking to a coach or scout, this means the middle of the field. It's called the "dark part of the field," my friend told me, because back in the day the middle of the field wasn't lit as well due to the way lights are situated on the edges of the playing field. You could also update that to say that it's the part of the field with the most defenders on it, so it'll be a more highly congested area for offensive players to stay away from.
The Big Board
No matter how often I publish a mock draft, someone (or a group of someones) is always asking for a new one. So this week, I'm doing a full two-round mock for you here. Enjoy.
|Updated Two-Round Mock Draft|
|1. TB||QB Jameis Winston, FSU||1. TEN||CB Jalen Collins, LSU|
|2. TEN||DL Leonard Williams, USC||2. TB||OT Ereck Flowers, Miami|
|3. JAX||DE Randy Gregory, Nebraska||3. OAK||RB Todd Gurley, Georgia|
|4. OAK||OT La'el Collins, LSU||4. JAX||ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA|
|5. WSH||SS Landon Collins, Alabama||5. NYJ||CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest|
|6. NYJ||QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon||6. WSH||ILB Denzel Perryman, Miami|
|7. CHI||DE Shane Ray, Missouri||7. CHI||OT Ty Sambrailo, Colorado St.|
|8. ATL||OLB Bud Dupree, Kentucky||8. NYG||OLB Paul Dawson, TCU|
|9. NYG||DE Dante Fowler, Florida||9. STL||QB Brett Hundley, UCLA|
|10. STL||OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa||10. ATL||RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin|
|11. MIN||WR Amari Cooper, Alabama||11. CLV||DE Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington|
|12. CLV||WR Kevin White, West Virginia||12. NO||OLB Nate Orchard, Utah|
|13. NO||LB Shaq Thompson, Washington||13. MIN||RB Tevin Coleman, Indiana|
|14. MIA||DT Malcom Brown, Texas||14. SF||CB Ronald Darby, FSU|
|15. SF||WR DeVante Parker, Louisville||15. MIA||WR Nelson Agholor, USC|
|16. HOU||OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame||16. SD||CB P.J. Williams, FSU|
|17. SD||OT Andrus Peat, Stanford||17. KC||OT Jake Fisher, Oregon|
|18. KC||WR Devin Funchess, Michigan||18. BUF||OG A.J. Cann, South Carolina|
|19. CLV||DT Danny Shelton, Washington||19. HOU||CB Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)|
|20. PHI||CB Marcus Peters, Washington||20. PHI||WR Devin Smith, Ohio State|
|21. CIN||DE Vic Beasley, Clemson||21. CIN||DT Michael Bennett, Ohio State|
|22. PIT||CB Trae Waynes, Michigan St.||22. DET||C Cam Erving, FSU|
|23. DET||DT Eddie Goldman, FSU||23. ARZ||DE Mario Edwards, FSU|
|24. ARZ||TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota||24. PIT||OLB Trey Flowers, Arkansas|
|25. CAR||OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M||25. CAR||WR Rashad Greene, FSU|
|26. BAL||WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona St.||26. BAL||RB Duke Johnson, Miami|
|27. IND||FS Gerod Holliman, Louisville||27. IND||OLB Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville|
|28. DAL||DE Eli Harold, Virginia||28. DAL||OT Tyrus Thompson, Oklahoma|
|29. GB||ILB Benardrick McKinney, Miss. State||29. GB||DT Carl Davis, Iowa|
|30. DEN||OT T.J. Clemmings, Pitt||30. DEN||FS Derron Smith, Fresno St.|
|31. NE||DT Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma||31. NE||WR Ty Montgomery, Stanford|
|32. SEA||WR Sammie Coates, Auburn||32. SEA||RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska|
10. The 2015 Senior Bowl is shaping up to be a good one. The Senior Bowl committee announced more accepted invitations this week. Here is the complete list of accepted invitations thus far:
|2015 Senior Bowl Rosters|
|DC Senquez Golson, Ole Miss||ILB Denzel Perryman, Miami||RB Jeremy Langford, Michigan St.|
|DC Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon||ILB Stephone Anthony, Clemson||RB Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn|
|DC Quandre Diggs, Texas||LS Andrew East, Vanderbilt||RB David Cobb, Minnesota|
|DC Doran Grant, Ohio State||LS Joe Cardona, Navy||RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska|
|DC Ladarius Gunter, Miami||C Hroniss Grasu, Oregon||RB David Johnson, Northern Iowa|
|DC Quinten Rollins, Miami (Ohio)||C Andy Gallik, Boston College||S Clayton Geathers, UCF|
|DC D'Joun Smith, FAU||C Reese Dismukes, Auburn||S Kurtis Drummond, Michigan St.|
|DC Steven Nelson, Oregon St.||G Josue Matias, FSU||S Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern|
|DC Eric Rowe, Utah||G Laken Tomlinson, Duke||S Jaquiski Tartt, Samford|
|DC Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest||G Robert Myers, Tenn. State||S Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss|
|DC Imoan Claiborne, NW St. LA||G Tre' Jackson, FSU||S Adrian Amos, Penn State|
|DC Kevin White, TCU||OLB Lynden Trail, Norfolk State||S Anthony Harris, Virginia|
|DC JaCorey Shepherd, Kansas||OLB Zach Hodges, Harvard||S Derron Smith, Fresno State|
|DE Bud Dupree, Kentucky||OLB Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville||S Damarious Randall, Arizona St.|
|DE Henry Anderson, Stanford||OLB Martrell Spaight, Arkansas||TE Clive Walford, Miami|
|DE Markus Golden, Missouri||OLB Mike Null, Penn State||TE Nick Boyle, Delaware|
|DE Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington||OLB Jordan Hicks, Texas||TE Ben Koyack, Notre Dame|
|DE Nate Orchard, Utah||OLB Paul Dawson, TCU||TE E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State|
|DE Preston Smith, Miss. State||T Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin||TE Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State|
|DE Owa Odighizuwa, UCLA||T Daryl Williams, Oklahoma||TE Nick O'Leary, FSU|
|DE Geneo Grissom, Oklahoma||T Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M||WR Devin Smith, Ohio State|
|DE Trey Flowers, Arkansas||T T.J. Clemmings, Pitt||WR Tony Lippett, Michigan St.|
|DE Corey Crawford, Clemson||T Jake Fisher, Oregon||WR Jamison Crowder, Duke|
|DT Carl Davis, Iowa||T Ali Marpet, Hobart||WR Rashad Greene, FSU|
|DT Danny Shelton, Washington||T Austin Shepherd, Alabama||WR Devante Davis, UNLV|
|DT Grady Jarrett, Clemson||T Ty Sambrailo, Colorado St.||WR Justin Hardy, ECU|
|DT Louis Trinca-Pasat, Iowa||T La'el Collins, LSU||WR Donatella Luckett, Harding|
|DT Joey Mbu, Houston||T Jamil Douglas, Arizona St.||WR Vince Mayle, Washington St.|
|DT Michael Bennett, Ohio State||T Cameron Erving, FSU||WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami|
|DT Kaleb Eulls, Miss. State||T Donovan Smith, Penn State||WR Antwan Goodley, Baylor|
|DT Gabe Wright, Auburn||PK Tom Obarski, Concordia||WR Kevin White, West Virginia|
|FB Jalston Fowler, Alabama||PK Justin Manton, La.-Monroe||WR Ty Montgomery, Stanford|
|FB Tyler Varga, Yale||PT Kyle Loomis, Portland State||WR Sammie Coates, Auburn|
|FB Connor Neighbors, LSU||QB Bryce Petty, Baylor||WR Dres Anderson, Utah|
|ILB Hayes Pullard, USC||QB Blake Sims, Alabama||WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas St.|
|ILB Ramik Wilson, Georgia||QB Shane Carden, ECU||WR Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas|
|ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA||QB Garrett Grayson, Colorado St.||WR Josh Harper, Fresno State|
9. As the season winds down, it's time for underclassmen to make their draft decisions before the Jan. 15 deadline. Here's a list of declared underclassmen as of Jan. 9:
|2015 NFL Draft: Declared Underclassmen|
|QB Brett Hundley, UCLA||WR Nigel King, Kansas||D/LB Randy Gregory, Nebraska|
|QB Jameis Winston, FSU||WR Shaq Roland, South Carolina||D/LB Eli Harold, Virginia|
|RB Jay Ajayi, Boise State||WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State||D/LB Danielle Hunter, LSU|
|RB Tevin Coleman, indiana||TE Jesse James, Penn State||D/LB Noah Spence, Ohio State|
|RB Mike Davis, South Carolina||TE Tyler Kroft, Rutgers||D/LB Max Valles, Virginia|
|RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin||TE Jean Sifrin, UMass||D/LB Shane Ray, Missouri|
|RB Todd Gurley, Georgia||TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota||LB Kwon Alexander, LSU|
|RB Dee Hart, Colorado St.||T Ereck Flowers, Miami||LB Benardrick McKinney, Miss. State|
|RB Duke Johnson, Miami||T D.J. Humphries, Florida||LB Shaq Thompson, Washington|
|RB Matt Jones, Florida||T Andrus Peat, Stanford||CB Alex Carter, Stanford|
|RB Josh Robinson, Miss. State||T Jeremiah Poutasi, Utah||CB Jalen Collins, LSU|
|RB Trey Williams, Texas A&M||T Donovan Smith, Penn State||CB Ronald Darby, FSU|
|RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama||G Tyler Moore, Florida||CB Lorenzo Doss, Tulane|
|WR Nelson Agholor, USC||DE Mario Edwards, FSU||CB Marcus Peters, Washington|
|WR Sammie Coates, Auburn||DT Malcom Brown, Texas||CB Trae Waynes, Michigan St.|
|WR Amari Cooper, Alabama||DT Xavier Cooper, Washington St.||CB P.J. Williams, FSU|
|WR Stefon Diggs, Maryland||DT Christian Covington, Rice||S Landon Collins, Alabama|
|WR LeMar Durant, Simon Fraser||DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, S. Miss||S Durell Eskridge, Syracuse|
|WR Devin Funchess, Michigan||DT Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma||S Gerod Holliman, Louisville|
|WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma||DT Leonard Williams, USC||S James Sample, Louisville|
|WR Deontay Greenberry, Houston||D/LB Deion Barnes, Penn State||P Brad Pinion, Clemson|
|WR Chris Harper, California||D/LB Dante Fowler, Florida|
8. In the draft media, very few people are standing in line to point out when you hit on a player, but they'll come out of the woods to remind you that you missed on a guy. With that in mind, and because I like to admit when I'm wrong about a player, I'll be doing a "Hit and Miss" each week until the draft.
Up first, a miss.
"(He) has a shot at being a top-20 pick because of his NFL ready speed and quickness. In a league that is placing less value on size and more on speed, (blank) is going to be sought after by many teams. The lack of size will likely be an issue for him, and it could keep him off the field in a starting role for the first year. Linebackers that play as physical as (blank) but don’t have the size are an injury risk. But if he can stay on the field, his level of play will be a factor if he can get the protection up front from a big, blocker-eating defensive line. He's a late second-round prospect in this class." — San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
7. And now for a player I hit on. A "hit" can be defined a few ways—a player ranked/drafted higher than the NFL viewed him is how I categorize a hit, though.
"A smooth, fluid athlete with ideal wingspan and quickness, (blank) does a good job coming off the ball and has the quickness to initially stun or advance past an offensive lineman. What he lacks in refinement (technique, angles, hand use) he makes up for in raw tools. If (blank) can be developed, he could become a starter on the edge. A mid-round-two grade is reasonable." — former Buffalo Bills' defensive end Aaron Maybin. Maybe was drafted No. 11 overall and quickly proved to be a bust in Buffalo.
6. The 2014 rookie wide receiver class may go down as the best ever, and it's certainly the best I've ever evaluated. The players were not only great prospects, but they became high-level producers early in their first seasons. Here is the final tally on how they stacked up this year.
|2014 Rookie Wide Receivers|
|Odell Beckham, NY Giants||12||91 catches, 1305 yards, 12 TD|
|Jarvis Landry, Miami||63||84 catches, 758 yards, 5 TD|
|Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina||28||73 catches, 1008 yards, 9 TD|
|Mike Evans, Tampa Bay||7||68 catches, 1051 yards, 12 TD|
|Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia||42||67 catches, 872 yards, 8 TD|
|Sammy Watkins, Buffalo||4||65 catches, 982 yards, 6 TD|
|Brandin Cooks, New Orleans||20||53 catches, 550 yards, 3 TD|
|Allen Hurns, Jacksonville||UDFA||51 catches, 677 yards, 6 TD|
|John Brown, Arizona||91||48 catches, 696 yards, 5 TD|
|Allen Robinson, Jacksonville||61||48 catches, 548 yards, 2 TD|
|Davante Adams, Green Bay||53||38 catches, 446 yards, 3 TD|
|Marqise Lee, Jacksonville||39||37 catches, 422 yards, 1 TD|
|Taylor Gabriel, Cleveland||UDFA||36 catches, 621 yards, 1 TD|
|Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis||90||32 catches, 444 yards, 3 TD|
|Paul Richardson, Seattle||45||29 catches, 271 yards, 3 TD|
5. One of my big draft rules, or evaluation rules, is that when looking at a college player's game film it's important to note not only what the player does, but what he can do that maybe the college coach isn't asking of him.
A great example of this last year was Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Watching their games, Watkins was used heavily in short passes and screen routes. Did the coaches not trust him to run routes or catch downfield passes? No, but to win football games they needed to quickly—and accurately—get the ball into their playmaker's hands. So screen passes and smoke routes were called.
This will come up often in 2015 as guys like Marcus Mariota and Bryce Petty get the "system quarterback" label thrown on them. But remember, it's important to know what the player can do, not always what he does do.
4. A good question came in from Twitter this week, basically asking how much I value what scouts tell me versus what I see myself.
When I started in this business I knew no one in the NFL, and so I learned to evaluate players without checking my scores with scouts. That's something I still try to do, but as the job grows I do rely on NFL scouts to be a kind of checks-and-balances for notes and rankings. For example, my new top 300 big board, I'll send that out to a handful of scouts and get feedback.
What one scout tells me won't change my ranking on a player, but it may (and often does) send me back to the tape to see if I missed something or put too much emphasis on another thing.
3. Here's my yearly (or monthly) reminder that the NFL draft is a process. A tweet, a note, a thought from August or September is likely to change by January and may change again by April. That's how this business works. As you get new information (game film, talks with coaches, more exposure to the player) you should be updating your thoughts. What happens, though, is a throwaway thought on Twitter becomes a lightning rod for folks, or (my favorite) people bring up a note about a player weakness and take it to mean you don't like that particular prospect.
I've always been open and upfront about my misses on players, but my one request is to at least bring up where I had a player ranked pre-draft and not something said in late-August four years ago.
2. Kyle Shanahan walked out of the Cleveland Browns organization after one year on the job, per Alex Marvez of Fox Sports. That's not a good sign for the health of your franchise when the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach both quit on the same day.
Everyone will loop this back to Johnny Manziel, and that may be a connection, but in my opinion this is more about ownership and the general manager trying to dictate what the coaches do instead of letting them put the best product on the field.
Now Shanahan is free to take an offensive coordinator job if he's not hired for one of the many head coaching openings he's interviewed for.
1. Over the last 10 days I spent a ton of time evaluating quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, going back over their last four games to complete my notes on them and get a good picture of their last two seasons. The result? Winston jumping Mariota in my rankings.
I try to never be reactionary (see: Bridgewater, Teddy) and rely on patience and study before moving a player up or down on my board. But Winston's readiness, vision, arm strength, mobility and pocket presence make him the better pro prospect. That doesn't mean I don't like Mariota—he's No. 2 overall right now—only that Winston is a better prospect right now.