NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock is sold on top quarterback prospects Jared Goff and Carson Wentz being on equal footing with last year's first and second overall picks: Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. And by all accounts, the aforementioned moves will result in Goff and Wentz being selected in the very same slots as their draft predecessors.
"I took a lot of abuse a month or two ago for saying Wentz and Goff were every bit in the conversation with last year's (top quarterbacks) Mariota and Winston," Mayock said during a Friday media teleconference. "I still believe it, and apparently two other NFL teams believe it, who were willing to give up that kind of firepower to move up and get those guys."
Winston and Mariota were certainly far more decorated as college players, both winning the Heisman Trophy and one, Winston, winning a national championship. College accolades don't make an NFL career, though. For Goff and Wentz, their physical tools will take them only so far at the pro level, and their surrounding talent and fit with their future coaching staffs will complete the picture.
For Winston and Mariota, the picture is still being painted.
They showed great promise as rookies, although both teams finished below .500 and in last place in their respective divisions, which isn't surprising given that the Buccaneers and Titans acquired them as the two worst teams in the NFL. That won't be the case for Goff and Wentz, who are expected to land in destinations (Philadelphia and Los Angeles) where they'll have more talent around them with teams that were initially assigned the Nos. 13 and 15 overall choices.