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Oregon State's Sean Mannion: 'I'm a great fit for the NFL game'

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The top quarterbacks in the draft look to be Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston at the top in some order, followed by UCLA's Brett Hundley or Baylor's Bryce Petty.


» Mike Mayock's top five 2015 NFL Draft propscts by position


Oregon State's Sean Mannion would like to change that way of thinking.

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"The way I look at it is I'm as good a quarterback as anybody," Mannion told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "That's just the way I feel. I'm confident in my game. I feel I can be the best quarterback in this class. I understand people have opinions, but that's just the way I feel."

Mannion had a great junior season (4,662 yards, 37 TDs, 66.3 completion percentage) but struggled as a senior (3,164 yards, 15 TDs, 62.3 completion percentage). And forget being the top quarterback in the class: Some analysts wonder if he can be an NFL starter.

Still, every player has to have confidence in his abilities, and Mannion obviously does so. He was a four-year starter, has excellent size (6-foot-5½, 229 pounds) and played in a pro-style attack at Oregon State. That gives him a leg up on some of the other quarterbacks -- most notably Petty, who played in a spread -- in the mix to be the fourth player at the position. In addition, unlike a lot of college quarterbacks, Mannion points out to the Journal Sentinel that he called audibles and was tasked with making sure of protection schemes.

"I feel confident in my ability to make any throw asked of me," Mannion told the newspaper. "I feel I can go onto the field and make all the throws. And mentally, I feel I'm a very smart player. It's something I pride myself on."

Mannion played the 2014 season as a graduate student and is in a Master's program in interdisciplinary studies.

His work at the combine is not going to magically move him up draft boards. At the same time, he can perhaps begin to change some minds -- especially given his size and his offensive background -- and start to solidify himself as the No. 4 player at the position. He will be the tallest quarterback at the combine and one of just a handful who did not play in a spread.

"I feel like I'm a great fit for the NFL game," Mannion told the Journal Sentinel.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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