2015 NFL Draft: Marcus Mariota vs. Jameis Winston

The 2015 NFL draft is tomorrow and it feels like we have been waiting for it forever. Wait, that is because we have. Gone are the days that the NFL draft is in early April. With the pressure from ungodly amount of TV revenue and hype, the NFL draft has been pushed now into May. I love football but there is a something called too much. Hype is good but there is a point of diminishing return where for the last 2-3 weeks there is nothing new to talk about because every pundit out there has already dissected every angle. Now we literally wait, and wait, and wait till we almost forget about it. In my opinion mid-April would be better.

There are several interesting story lines with this draft but there is none more prevalent than question of who is the better quarterback between Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Many in the national media have decided that Winston should be picked first due to the fact he played more a pro-style offense. I would argue that this is due to national media bias. If they have truly followed Mariota they would understand that he is not a system made success story and should be able to adjust quickly to the NFL style offense. Also, of note, any offensive coordinator worth their salt will adjust their offensive play calling to fit the skill set of a dynamic quarterback. Not necessarily a full college spread offense but more in the light of how the Seahawks use Russell Wilson and how the 49ers use Colin Kaepernick. He is not an athlete playing quarterback. He is a quarterback who is an amazing athlete. He makes great decisions. His errors are so few that it throws you off when they happen. He has great arm strength and placement and when he is in rhythm it’s like watching a surgeon.

Secondly, you cannot just dismiss character based upon talent when it comes to the quarterback position. When you are talking about two players that are close in talent such as Marcus and Jameis, character should always win out. You want that person to be someone that can lead and command respect. Jameis did well when his back was against the wall but made awful off the field decisions that surely at some point will leak unto the field. I’d rather have Marcus where I don’t have to wonder what he is doing on a Saturday night or if he is going to be suspended at some point or causing a distraction. You know what you are getting with Marcus. He is a proven character commodity.

Another question will be, how many first round trades will there be? Will the Eagles trade up to get Mariota? While part of me would be thrilled to watch Marcus be reunited with Chip Kelly, I would actually prefer Marcus to be with a different team so he can prove he is not a product of a system and is actually a solid player in any system. If he goes to play for Chip, he will always be under Chip’s shadow.

The NFL draft always produces surprises. Let the show begin!

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