The debate between Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston has already begun and it will continue to heat up now that the Bucs will be in position to at least draft one of them. Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network and former NFL scout shares his opinion of both quarterbacks.
From the New York Post on Saturday, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah broke down all of the top prospects in the NFL Draft, which includes quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Martiota.
Check out all of his breakdowns HERE.
“I’d say arm strength is solid. I don’t think it’s elite or special, but he’s got enough arm strength to make all the throws," Jeremiah said of Marcus Mariota. "In that offense, in that system, guys are so wide open, it makes it a little bit harder for them when they get to the next level. But everything you hear — intelligence, toughness, work ethic — all that stuff’s off the charts from everything I’ve been told.”
Jeremiah is voicing some of the concerns most have about Mariota relating to Oregon's offense and the transition to the NFL. Oregon has not produced quarterbacks that have gone onto stardom in the NFL. There is also the concern of spread quarterbacks in general transitioning to the NFL. Most quarterback experts will tell you that no matter how athletic or talented a quarterback is, if they can't make anticipated throws from the pocket, they won't have a chance in the NFL.
That leads us to Jeremiah's assessment of Jameis Winston.
“Obviously he’s got great size. He’s got good pocket mobility. He knows how to slide and move around within the pocket," Jeremiah said of Jameis Winston. "Mariota, when he gets pressure, he’s gonna take off and run, or he’s gonna bail out of the pocket, and try to make a play from outside the pocket. Winston is very, very savvy and comfortable to be able to maneuver inside the pocket, keep his eyes downfield to make throws. He’s got plenty of arm strength. The long delivery is a bit of a concern, but I think he has shortened it up a little bit this year. A lot of his interceptions are linebackers buzzing underneath routes, so he sometimes struggled to see that stuff. But I’ve seen him start the right side and work 1,2,3 all the way across the field, and that’s not something you see a lot in college football anymore.”
I think it is safe to say, from these two assessments, that Jeremiah is more impressed with Jameis Winston on tape and his transition to the NFL than Mariota. Again, with Mariota it is just a guessing game as to how he will transition, while with Jameis Winston, he has shown the characteristics to be successful in NFL offenses.
The biggest concern with Jameis Winston will be more off the field than on it. If background checks come back clean, Jameis Winston might find himself as the first quarterback selected on April 30. Until then, analysts will be weary of putting Winston ahead of Mariota.
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