Winston shows off strong arm, but Mariota has faster feet

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Florida State’s Jameis Winston showed Saturday there’s nothing wrong with his throwing shoulder.

On Saturday in Indianapolis, he threw with zip and accuracy – posting the most impressive performance in a six-quarterback group that included Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. Winston, the 2013 Heisman winner, and Mariota are presumed to be vying to go No. 1 in the April draft.

“I think he throws an extremely catchable ball. Has all the arm strength you want, but he makes it easy for the receiver based on the route,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “He understands that, he gets it.”

The workouts came one day after ESPN reported doctors were rechecking Winston’s throwing shoulder for weakness, and the best news of all may have been that Winston said his right arm felt great.

He didn’t even ice the arm following the workout.

“I actually feel good,” Winston told NFL Network following the workout. “The thing is they actually (put a) shot in my shoulder and made it sore a little bit. I was like ‘You all tried to do that. I’ve done had this shoulder my whole life and you’re going to make it sore.'”

Most of the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers spoke to the media Thursday. Winston came in Friday because of the longer-than-expected medical exam. Players are not usually available to most media members following drills.

Mariota threw well, too, but wasn’t quite as accurate as Winston.

The Oregon quarterback had the fastest 40-yard dash time among all 15 quarterbacks, 4.52 seconds, and finished ahead of Winston in the vertical jump (36 inches to 28.5) and the broad jump (10-1 to 8-7).

But he didn’t get quite the same endorsement from Mayock.

“You can see how athletic he is and you can see that translate to his drop backs now, a sense of urgency with his feet,” Mayock said. “I know he will be able to adapt to being able to get under center. It’s the pocket awareness part you can’t see out here. Physically, he’s able to do all the things they ask him.”

Mariota said he did chat informally with former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who is now with the Eagles. By mid-afternoon Saturday, Mariota said he had not had any formal meetings with Philadelphia, who are believed to have interest in Mariota and may be willing to trade up in the draft to get him.

Winston didn’t just look healthy, he appeared to be at ease on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf.

After completing the workout, Winston traded high-fives with other competitors and the six quarterbacks in the group photo got together for a photo on the field.

Winston did struggle in the 40, clocking a surprisingly slow 4.97 and 4.99 on his two tries. That was barely ahead of the fastest offensive lineman, 307-pound Ali Marpet, who ran 4.98 on Friday.

“The interviews for me were enjoyable because I was able to show some of the knowledge that I learned at Oregon,” Mariota said, adding that Kelly made no promise of making a move to get him.

Alabama-Birmingham receiver J.J. Nelson had the fastest overall 40, a 4.28, falling just short of Chris Johnson’s combine record of 4.24. Miami’s Phillip Dorsett was next at 4.33. West Virginia receiver Kevin White certainly helped his case by running a 4.35, while Alabama’s Amari Cooper was clocked at 4.42.

Heisman Trophy finalist Melvin Gordon had the fifth-fastest time among running backs at 4.52. Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford was No. 1 at 4.42.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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