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Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota to throw at NFL combine

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota won't be among the first-round NFL draft prospects who take a pass on passing at the annual NFL Scouting Combine.

Both will throw on Saturday, according to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport.

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It's a refreshing move for two quarterbacks regarded as the top two passers available in the 2015 draft to extend their participation in the combine to throwing. It's not uncommon for elite-level quarterback prospects to wait until their on-campus pro day workout -- where they can throw in a familiar environment to wide receivers with whom they have built years of chemistry -- to show off their passing skills.

The move backfired on Teddy Bridgewater last year. Bridgewater decided to skip the combine passing drills, but had one of the poorest pro days by a quarterback in recent memory. Seen beforehand as a potential top-10 pick, his stock plummeted and he was taken by the Minnesota Vikings with the final pick of the first round.

Blake Bortles, on the other hand, was the only quarterback of the top four to throw at the 2014 combine. He emerged as one of the event's stars and his stock skyrocketed. He followed it up with a clean pro day and eventually became the top quarterback drafted, taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the third overall pick.

The decisions apparently didn't come easily. Both were reportedly undecided on whether to throw at the combine over the weekend. Mariota cited a shoulder injury suffered in the Ducks' national championship loss to Ohio State as a reason for his indecision as far back as late January. Winston's private coach, George Whitfield, indicated Monday that Winston was undecided on whether to throw as well.

NFL Media analyst Gil Brandt reported that Mariota's decision was an easy one after the shoulder checked out fine and he was pain-free.


Several of the draft's other quarterback prospects, including UCLA's Brett Hundley, Baylor's Bryce Petty and Oregon State's Sean Mannion, are expected to take part in passing drills as well.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread

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