The recent trend for NFL quarterback prospects has been to skip throwing drills at the NFL Scouting Combine in favor of throwing in the controlled environment of their pro day. Top prospects Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston will reportedly buck that trend and throw at the combine this week.
Mariota sat out the Senior Bowl with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and the injury raised questions about whether he would partake in throwing drills at the combine. He will indeed throw, according to Chris Mortensen, who reports Mariota informed teams he will participate.
Winston was reportedly undecided on whether he would throw at the combine, but is planning to participate, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. If he follows through and does participate, there will be some extra attention paid to the drills on Saturday with both Mariota and Winston among the participants.
Whether a quarterback should participate in throwing drills is a yearly debate. While it's a bigger stage and the top prospects are typically capable of excelling, many prefer a controlled environment of a pro day where they have say in what throws they make and the full routine. How much impact participating will have is hard to determine, but a good showing cannot hurt their status as the two jockey for the top spot on the quarterback rankings.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar projected Winston and Mariota to be drafted with the first two picks in his latest NFL mock draft.