For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their ultimate dilemma heading into the off-season was determining who their quarterback will be going into the future. The two best solutions to this problem: QBs Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. But which one will they take? Ultimately, the Buccaneers are more in need of Mariota’s services than Winston’s due to two main differences on and off the field.
1. No Huge Ego Concerns
Throughout his time with the Florida State Seminoles, Winston had his fair share of run-ins with the press. Many football fans, and people in general, will recall the sexual assault allegations against Winston in November 2013, committed against a fellow Seminole classmate a year prior. Other indiscretions include using offensive language, multiple shoplifting incidents, and being in possession of a loaded weapon.
The Bucs just can’t afford to mortgage their future for Winston, especially at the high price he’ll likely go for. It’s clear the Bucs want a fresh new start and for them to achieve that, they need to draft a Mariota, who does his job on the field beautifully and keeps his head down off the field. You never hear of bad news coverage surrounding Mariota, which makes him a much more alluring prospect than Winston.
2. Franchise Leader Going Into the Future
The biggest advantage for Winston heading into the 2015 NFL Draft is the NFL-style of offense he played with head coach Jimbo Fisher at FSU. Many feel that this is the main reason why he’ll be the number one pick, despite all the issues off the field. However, if we take a look at the amount of turnovers and inconsistent throws he has made, Mariota is a better fit for the Buccaneers than Winston.
Here’s a quick look at the comparison between both QBs in terms of touchdowns, interceptions, and total yards:
Mariota — 105 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and 10,796 yards
Winston — 65 touchdowns, 28 interceptions, 7964 yards
The numbers speak for themselves. All things considered, the likelihood of Mariota being selected over Winston is still highly unlikely, despite the private practice sessions the two had in Florida. However, one thing this shows is that the Bucs are still at least entertaining at the idea of taking Mariota over Winston.
Top photo by Gary Breedlove