clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Mock Draft 2015: Jameis Winston keeps rising to the top

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Todd McShay has put out his latest 2015 NFL mock draft, and he's put Jameis Winston back on top. Based on his on-field play, McShay says the Florida State quarterback is the best quarterback in the draft, but his off-field concerns could drop him down the board.

The Bucs don't currently have a franchise quarterback on their roster, and while both of the top two QB prospects in this year's class carry with them significant risks (along with considerable talent and upside), it could be tough for them to pass on both. If you factor in only on-field performance, Winston should be the No. 1 choice. He beats opponents from the pocket with very good accuracy, arm strength and anticipation, and his on-field intangibles and leadership are positives as well. The concerns with Winston obviously have to do with his off-field behavior, and any team that drafts him is going to have to trust him enough from a character and psychological standpoint to make him the face of its franchise. That's a big risk, but NFL teams know that they can't win consistently without good quarterback play. And the Bucs could decide that Marcus Mariota's need to transition from Oregon's up-tempo spread offense to the NFL represents an even greater risk -- albeit in a very different way.

Meanwhile, McShay has Mariota dropping all the way to the sixth spot in the draft. As the draft process continues, this is something we keep seeing: Winston coming out on top in most analysts' minds, while Mariota drops. Part of this is a refusal or inability to say much about how his off-field issues will impact Winston's draft prospects among most draftniks, and another part of it is concerns with Mariota's NFL transition.

Crucial for this process will be the private workouts and interviews with both Jameis Winston, who will have to convince teams that his off-field issues are a thing of the past and overblown, and Marcus Mariota, who will have to demonstrate an ability to drop back from center and process NFL concepts on the whiteboard.