Well, after beating the 49ers yesterday the Raiders basically screwed themselves for the first over-all pick in the draft. Now we’ve got five teams sitting at 2-11. Three of those teams desperately needs a quarterback, and the experts are basically saying the two best who MIGHT declare for the draft are Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. As a interesting side-note, current Heisman Trophy votes this year has Mariota absolutely destroying last year’s winner, Winston.
More glaring for the 2015 draft is the uncanny resemblance to the top-two QBs from the 2012 draft, Andrew Luck and RG3. Which would you choose? More importantly, which of them would you trade up for? Would you pull a Dan Snyder brain fart?
Like Luck, Winston is primarily a pocket passer with some mobility, he’s hard to take down, has a strong, accurate arm, and he’s coming from a pro-style offense.
Like RG3, Mariota can kill you with his legs. He has taken off running twice as often as Winston has this year, but racked up eight times as many yards as Winston. He’s an electric player, but he’s coming from a spread offense.
So a lot of draft-niks are saying Winston has more upside, he is a “cleaner projection” to the NFL than Mariota.
This is the part where I call bullshit. Ta-dah!!
While Winston has a 24-17 TD-to-INT ratio this year, Mariota has a 38-2 ratio. Let that sink in for a minute: only two interceptions, and far more touchdowns. And he’s smart enough not to get in a position to get hurt, even while rushing in five times as many TDs as Winston.
And you say, “Wow, those Mariota numbers are so close to Griffin’s numbers during his final college year! Oh crap, RG3 is all but retired from the NFL now, I’d pick Winston!”
Yeah, not so fast, genius.
Fran Tarkenton knew more than two years ago that RG3 wouldn’t make it in the NFL. And it was primarily because of his character, his ego, his “me first” attitude…not his abilities, and not his injuries. And Fran certainly isn’t the first person to rip into RG3 about these things. Hell, Griffin’s coach has finally gotten in on the act.
By all accounts that I could find, Mariota does not suffer from an inflated ego. And he seems to be a member in good standing of society in general.
On the other hand, Winston certainly has some problems with his decision-making off the field. There have been sexual assault allegations, soda swiping, and the kid likes to use his vulgar mouth at high volumes in crowded spaces.
Consider this example: Russell Wilson runs like the dickens, and he makes time every Tuesday for sick kids at the hospital. And he has a Lombardi.
A person’s character is not inconsequential: that character translates to how good of a teammate you are, how hard you’re willing to work, how much you care about others and how much you want to succeed.
Winston doesn’t seem to embody those qualities. But he’s the “cleaner projection”? Bullshit. He’ll be riding the pine his fourth year, and then he’ll be out. That is, if he doesn’t end up in jail first…