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Mayock: Goff-Wentz as good, maybe better than Winston-Mariota

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NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock dropped a bit of a bombshell in his analysis during NFL Network's coverage of Cal QB Jared Goff's pro day on Friday.

Mayock said during a discussion with his fellow analysts that he considers the consensus top two QBs in this year's draft, Goff and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, to be just as good and maybe even better than the top two QBs in last year's draft, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.

"The statement I'm going to make to you guys, and you can tell me whether you agree or not, is I'm at the point now with both Wentz and Goff where I think they're every bit as good, if not better, than Winston and Mariota from a year ago as prospects," Mayock said.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah responded to Mayock during the broadcast and said that he doesn't quite see it the same way.

"That's strong. I have a little bit lower grade (on Wentz and Goff), Mike," Jeremiah said. "(Winston and Mariota) ended up going 1-2 (overall) and I think when it's all said and done, I think (Goff and Wentz) end up going there in the top seven (picks). I would say that, ceiling-wise, for (Winston and Mariota), I'd put them at a little bit higher ceiling."

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The conventional wisdom this draft season has been in line with Jeremiah's take. Mayock's comment reinforces that conventional wisdom is often worthy of being reexamined, especially when it comes to the inexact science of evaluating draft prospects.

Of course, Winston and Mariota went first and second overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans last year. They entered the draft-evaluation process to much fanfare as highly decorated Heisman winners that had won a national title, in Winston's case, and came within a win of one, in Mariota's case.

Goff and Wentz have not generated the same sizzle as prospects, in part because they, generally, have not been viewed as talents on par with Winston and Mariota. Their backgrounds have played a role, as well. Goff led Cal to only one bowl (the Armed Forces Bowl this past season) in his three seasons, and Wentz hails from a small school, albeit an FCS powerhouse, in North Dakota State.

The top of the draft order also plays a role in the disparity between the buzz about the two QB duos. A year ago, the Bucs and Titans were picking 1-2. Both teams had huge QB needs and two stars from big-time programs to choose from in Winston and Mariota. This year, the Titans are picking first and aren't in the market for a QB after selecting Mariota. In fact, the Browns, 49ers, Rams (No. 15) and Broncos (No. 31) are the only teams with a glaring need at quarterback this year.

The predominant narrative for much of this draft season has suggested that the Browns will take Goff or Wentz at No. 2, and that the QB who doesn't get picked by Cleveland might be waiting a while to hear his name called. Jeremiah mentioned the No. 7 pick, the 49ers' first selection, as a floor for the top two QBs.

The only scenario in which QBs go 1-2 in this year's draft is if a team trades up to No. 1 to take a QB and the Browns (or a different team if the world goes mad and a club also trades up to No. 2) take another with the second pick.

The chances of that happening? Probably slim to none, given the price of moving up.

However, if any team in the market for a QB shares Mayock's opinion, perhaps there's more interest in trading up for a QB this year than we previously thought.

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