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5 Takeaways: McShay Talks Combine

On Monday, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay spoke with reporters about this year's NFL Combine. Below are five takeaways from his conference call.

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1. Jameis Winston's tape speaks for itself.
Todd McShay acknowledged that there are red flags in drafting Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston but still thinks he's the top player in this year's draft class. "I think with Jameis Winston, even though there are all the off-the-field issues and all of the concerns that you have there – there are so few concerns when you put on the tape and so few concerns when you talk to him from a football I.Q. standpoint," McShay said. "I just don't think you pass. Chris Mortensen and Bill Polian are smarter men than I am and they both think that Marcus Mariota's the pick. We'll wait and see."


  1. Marcus Mariota has a very high football I.Q.**
    Many people McShay has spoken to about this year's quarterback class think very highly of Oregon's Marcus Mariota. "From everyone I've talked to and everyone who's talked to him, including his offensive coordinator (at Oregon)… there are very few players I've ever done background on and got better feedback," said McShay. "Obviously him as a person, a human being, but also him on the board picking up new concepts. His football intelligence is off the charts."

*3. Leonard Williams is the second-best player in this year's draft. *
McShay said that he believes Winston is the best player in this year's draft class and that USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams is the second-best. He said that he could see Mariota falling to the bottom half of the top 10.


  1. Evaluating a QB is an inexact science.**
    There are countless hours of film study and many different approaches that go into evaluating a quarterback. McShay said, despite all of the research, there's still no such thing as a "sure-thing". "There was a three or four-year period where guys were coming in and contributing and there weren't many busts," McShay said. "But in the last few years, we've had some more guys that it looks like, early in their career, that they're not going to turn out. God only makes a handful of guys that can do it at that high of a level. It's the hardest position, the most important position in all of sports for a reason. They come in all different shapes and sizes. They come from all different kinds of schemes and all different programs. They're usually not the best athletes out there. They're not running the fastest 40. It's hard to quantify a lot of what makes them great."

5. Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff could be the next Zack Martin.
Coming out of college, Zack Martin, now with the Cowboys, was praised for his versatility. Martin was a tackle in college but moved to guard in the NFL and was named an All-Pro his rookie season. McShay said that he believes Schreff could have a similar impact if he's moved inside at the next level.

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