Todd McShay has his third mock draft of the year out for ESPN, and he's going with Jameis Winston as the first overall pick. Again. As is everyone else.
I'd be very surprised if the Bucs didn't take a quarterback at No. 1, and both Winston and Mariota are possibilities here. But to me, Winston has a clear advantage over Mariota based on his on-field performance. He is such a natural passer in terms of his ability to anticipate throws and deliver the ball accurately, and, to me, if you limit it to an on-field evaluation, he's second only to Andrew Luck among QB prospects of the past 10 years. Tampa Bay will have to be comfortable with its character and psychological evaluations of Winston before drafting him No. 1 overall, but from what I've heard, Winston really impressed teams during his combine interview sessions with how he talked about his past, and he wowed them with his football IQ. Mariota possesses great physical tools and very good character and football intelligence, and I think he has the potential to develop into a good NFL starter. But to me, Winston is both more advanced now and has the higher ceiling when projecting the future.
So hey, the song remains the same. Boring. This is starting to feel a little like Andrew Luck a couple of years ago, when everyone was convinced the Colts would take him first overall. And then over the two months leading up to the drafts we started to see a lot of dissent, mostly because folks got bored of constantly projecting the same player number one.
I'm thinking we'll see quite a bit of that going forward. People going with non-Jameis Winston options just to stand out. But barring some new revelations on the Bucs' feelings, or damning incidents for Jameis Winston, this pick looks fairly secure.
At least this mock draft gave me an excuse to put on some Led Zeppelin.