The NFL combine has top draft prospects Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota deciding to throw this week and teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans will be watching carefully, as they have the top two picks in the draft and this comes as the Cleveland Browns, NY Jets and Philadelphia Eagles could be interested in trading up to draft one of the players.
The Buccaneers have the top overall pick in the draft and ESPN.com reports that they are leading towards Winston with the draft selection. Love Smith spoke about the off the field issues involving Winston and said that the Buccaneers are not concerned and most scouts have him as the better QB prospect over Mariota. If Mariota ends up going number two of falling past the Titans, Jaguars, Raiders and Redskins, expect a number of teams to call the Jets about potential trades.
Mel Kiper has Mariota falling to the Jets at number six in the draft and many have speculated that the team would take him if he was there. But the NY Daily News also writes that the new Jets regime could look at trading out of that pick if Mariota falls. The Browns and Eagles reportedly are interested in trading up to get Mariota and if things open up that way in the draft, expect some moves to be made, or at least considered by the Jets.
Some have suggested that Mariota and Winston should not throw at the combine, as they have no real reason to and it would only hurt their draft stocks, but both players have confidence in the workouts. Mariota reportedly has been doing very well in team interviews, while Winston has already made a strong impression on the Buccaneers. The quarterbacks are set to throw on Saturday and they have come in for measurements and they also have started meeting with teams. Mariota is getting interest from the Eagles, Browns and Jets as a potential option, while Winston looks like he will be going number on. Mariota had crazy numbers in his run at Oregon and both Winston and Mariota won Heisman trophies while in school.
The Eagles and Browns could be candidates to trade up for Mariota, while the Jets are also reportedly interested in trading for him. Mariota had over 5000 total yards and had 58 touchdowns in his junior season and he could be a strong fit for a team like the Eagles. Chip Kelly coached Mariota in college and may want to reunite with him in the NFL. Reports have the Buccaneers interested in Winston and if they go through on that, expect a number of teams to call the Titans and other teams in the top five about a deal.