Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Florida States Jameis Winston are likely to be the first two quarterbacks chosen in the 2015 NFL Draft that will be held in April. The two quarterbacks have a few notable similarities; both have won the Heisman Award and both have appeared in a BCS National Championship game. After seeing the two perform at the NFL combine in Indianapolis this weekend that could be where the similarities end.
For Winston, there’s no doubt he’s worthy of a first round pick by any team that chooses to draft him. The bigger issue is the off-field incidences that have brought up questions about his maturity and ability to be a leader that the quarterback of a NFL team needs to be. Winston addressed the issues with several teams during interviews and seemed to impress with his overall football IQ. Team scouts like the fact that Winston played in a pro style offense at Florida State, but could be turned off by his perceived maturity issues.
Jameis Winston NFL Combine Highlights
Concerns about Mariota’s NFL readiness lay in the style of offense he operated while at the University of Oregon. The spread offense has caught on quickly in college football and makes for some video game-esque stats, but few things Mariota did well in Oregon’s offense will be asked of him in a pro style offense. Mariota is as athletic as a quarterback can be, leading all quarterbacks at the combine with a 4.52 40 yard dash, 36 inch vertical and a 10 foot 1 inch broad jump. It won’t mean anything if he can’t properly run a pro level offense and read pro level defenses.
Marcus Mariota NFL Combine Highlights
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the first pick in the draft and are likely to choose either Winston or Mariota to be under center come opening day of the 2015 season. They’ll need to determine if Mariota’s athleticism and potential will translate to on field success in the NFL or if Winston’s pro style experience is the safer bet.