The five-best quarterbacks invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. As of now, according to CBS' draft prospect rankings, Winston has the edge over Mariota.
1. Right now, he feels the Buccaneers will select Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the first overall pick in this year's draft.
Every mock draft published by a credible source suggests the Buccaneers will select either Oregon's Marcus Mariota or Florida State's Jameis Winston with the first overall pick in this year's NFL Draft. As of right now, Mayock believes Winston is better-suited for the Bucs' offense. "My gut tells me they're going to go with a quarterback," Mayock said. "And at this point, I would guess it's Jameis Winston just because he fits what they do more."
2. His biggest concern with Winston is on the field, not off.
With much discussion focusing on Winston's activities off the field, Mayock said that he was more concerned with what the quarterback was doing on the field. "I don't envy (general manager) Jason (Licht) and (head coach) Lovie (Smith) and that group and their decision because there is a consensus top two at the quarterback position, but there's contrasting issues with both of them," Mayock said. "With Jameis Winston, my concern, number one, is on the field. That is – I think he throws too many interceptions." Winston threw 18 interceptions in 2014 and was picked off 10 times the year before. "However, I can see everything I want on the field beyond that," Mayock added.
3. He believes Marcus Mariota is the total package. But will it carry over to the NFL?
Mayock praised Mariota's intangibles but had questions as to whether his style of play could translate smoothly to the next level. "You don't have any worries off-the-field and all the individual components are there," Mayock said. "He's athletic, he's got a big arm. He's 6-4 and 215 pounds. He's got great feet. He's going to run 4.5, 4.55. All of the individual components are there. However, can he put them together in a pro-style offense where he has to throw with anticipation, has to go through progressions?"
4. TCU's Paul Dawson reminds him of a current Buccaneer.
Could the Buccaneers get a game-changing middle linebacker in the second or third round? Mayock believes so. His first suggestion: "I think the guy, a matter of fact I call him a 'poor man's Lavonte David', is Paul Dawson from TCU. Probably more suited to the weak side, but I think he could play in the middle." Mayock also spoke highly of Miami's Denzel Perryman and Mississippi State's Bernardrick McKinney.