The draft’s top two quarterback prospects will throw at the NFL scouting combine this weekend according to Ian Rapoport and Chris Mortensen.
Marcus Mariota, who’s been dealing with an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder, was previously unsure whether he’d be healthy enough by late February. And while he was still undecided over the weekend, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner made his decision official as recently as Monday.
As for Winston, the Florida State star also made his decision to participate in throwing at the combine as recently as Tuesday. His private coach, George Whitfield, indicated on Monday that Winston was unsure if whether he would throw or not. But we can expect to see both quarterbacks extending their participation in Indianapolis this weekend. And that’s good news for the Buccaneers.
It’s not uncommon for elite quarterbacks entering the draft to forgo throwing at the combine, and instead wait for their pro day where there’s familiarity among their teammates and field conditions. In recent memory, sometimes the latter can be beneficial for the player, yet deceiving for the team. Just last year, Johnny Manziel elected not to throw at the combine, and proceeded to put on a great performance at his Pro Day in College, solidifying his draft stock as a first round pick. Just the opposite was Teddy Bridgewater, who did throw at the combine.
Nevertheless, the decision by Mariota and Winston to throw comes as good news for the Buccaneers. While teams will typically value a player’s in-season performance over anything they do at the combine, it’s still a critical aspect in the evaluation process, especially when you’ve been deciding between the two of them since early January.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
To me this only points to their competitive spirit, but that’s very important as well so I love that they’re throwing. Cam Newton wasn’t talked about as a potential 1st overall pick until after he threw at the combine. He wasn’t perfect, but I read later that teams liked seeing him compete. This Saturday has become must see TV. Comcast, we’ve had our differences in the past but don’t fail me now…
Although I would love to see them both throw, I recently heard Winstons “people” might be trying to convince him to do otherwise. That would suck. I do reiterate though how impressed I am that Mariotta is throwing.
Looking forward to watching both players. I’ve seen what Winston can do so perhaps Mariota will show me some “wow” moments besides running.
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