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Mike Mayock moves Marcus Mariota ahead of Jameis Winston

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He struggled with it but Mike Mayock has moved Mariota to the #1 QB position on his board.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Mayock has made a surprise move in his latest 2015 NFL draft rankings: Marcus Mariota is now ahead of Jameis Winston, which is a massive departure from the consensus. Mayock gave three reasons for doing so:  Winston’s interceptions, his off-field decisions, and Mariota's on-field decisions within the context of what he was asked to do.

Mayock and I disagree on the reason for having Mariota #1. He points out negatives on Winston, whereas I simply feel there are more positives with Mariota. To some degree I agree with the issue of interceptions, however I think it’s a result of two things Winston does not do well enough, yet.

First is his recognition of complex coverages. Many collegiate quarterbacks really struggle with this, but not all. We can see this at 40 seconds in this clip.

You’ll see Winston with a bunch formation to the right. He counts what looks to be a man-to-man press defense and recognizes who's engaged with who. When one of those players blitzes he throws the ball, attempting to hit a receiver down the right hash. But he's lost track of Florida Freshman Quincy Wilson, who wasn't in the stack and moved over the top.

This is not the first time this has happened. The first time was against Louisville, where he attempts to hit Travis Rudolph up the seam but ends up throwing it to Louisville Safety James Sample. You can see a similar interception at 3:45 below.

The second problem is Winston does not reset always his feet on moves outside the pocket. Not just when he's under pressure, but rather times where Winston has space to reset but chooses not to. No matter how great a QB’s arm if you can use your whole body to throw, you should. This is why Winston’s completion percentage drops by more than 20% on rollouts. Watch both the Florida and Louisville cut ups and just watch how many times Florida and Louisville overload blitz the left side of the Florida line trying to get Jameis to roll to his right.

I still think Winston is a fine QB, one with things to work on. However I do not think that distance in terms of passing only (one aspect of QB play) is massive. It’s also a gulf that I anticipate Mariota to close quickly as he spends less time studying boards with Rich Eisen on them to call in plays and more time working from under center.