Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are expected to be the only quarterbacks selected Thursday in the first round of the NFL draft, despite questions -- albeit very different ones -- about their ability to succeed as the offensive cornerstone of an NFL franchise.
However, for one NFL executive, the correct draft lever to pull at the quarterback position might not have either of their names on it.
"I wouldn't be surprised if (Colorado State's Garrett) Grayson was better than all of them," the executive told USA Today Sports. "I just think he's got the intangibles. He's got a good presence about himself in the pocket. He's got the physical traits. His arm's strong enough, and I think he's got the right temperament."
Citing Grayson's poise and ability to read the field, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah rated Grayson as the third-best quarterback prospect in the draft more than two months ago, prior to the NFL Scouting Combine. But Grayson might not be picked in Round 2, or even on Day 2 (Rounds 2-3). Representatives from three NFC clubs told The Coloradoan that they have mid- to late-round grades on Grayson, and the one who believes he could be the best of the draft class actually has him rated as the No. 4 QB available. Baylor's Bryce Petty and UCLA's Brett Hundley are also contenders to be the third quarterback selected.
It all makes for a muddy picture at the position after the Winston and Mariota drama passes with their selections.
The primary concern NFL scouts have about Winston is his maturity. For Mariota, it's his adaptability to a pro-style offense. For Grayson, neither appears to be an issue.
"I met with the Rams last week and got up on the board drawing some of their offensive plays. Some of their plays were literally the exact same plays, same verbiage (as CSU)," Grayson told The Coloradoan. "Things like that have definitely helped me up through this process."
The New Orleans Saints will put Grayson through his fifth private workout Monday, and the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys are the other teams that have worked him out, according to the report.