Mayock on Mariota's pro day: He needs to 'polish for the NFL'

Oregon's pro day Thursday marked one of the most anticipated workouts in NFL circles since Johnny Manziel strapped on the pads at Texas A&M last year, but the star of the day, Marcus Mariota, did not quite live up to advance billing during his 65-throw workout.

"I thought it started a little rough, and he was a little nervous," NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said during NFL Network's broadcast of the pro day. "That was early. As he got more comfortable he threw the ball better. Do I think it was one of the best pro-day quarterback workouts I ever saw? No. At best, it was a solid workout.

"He threw a good deep ball, some of the intermediate routes outside the numbers were a little shaky," Mayock said. "But he has the arm strength, and every single throw was under center, so he was trying to make a statement."

Mariota is ranked as Mayock's second-best quarterback in the 2015 NFL Draft, just behind Florida State's Jameis Winston. While Mariota's workout wasn't as bad as Teddy Bridgewater's oft-criticized pro day last year, it was not as crisp as some would have liked. A constant refrain from several analysts was that Mariota had a better day throwing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

While things didn't go quite as Mariota had hoped, the effort is unlikely to change any opinions drastically in the run up to Chicago.

"I would call his workout solid," Mayock said. "But put it in perspective. We saw footwork, we saw arm strength, we saw an athlete. Does he need to polish (things up) for the NFL? Yes."

General managers from Tampa Bay (picking No. 1 overall), Tennessee (No. 2) and the New York Jets (No. 6) were among the quarterback-needy teams in attendance Thursday. Whether they agree with Mayock's assessment -- and whether it's enough to make them pass on Mariota -- remains to be seen.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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