Barstool: Who has a better career, Mariota or Winston?

Mariota or WInstonDJ and Steve are here to argue a burning hot topic about the top two picks in the NFL draft:

Who will have the better NFL career: Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston?

Mariota 1Steve: Marcus Mariota vs Jameis Winston has been a highly debated argument since the middle of last season. Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, and coming off a National Championship with Florida State and Mariota, who is the 2014 Heisman winner with a record breaking type of season. So the question here is who is going to have a better career.

We can go on and on about the numbers for both of the players. Mariota who led the Ducks to the National Championship game last season had a college career for the ages. In 41 games, he compiled 10,796 passing yards, not to mention 2,237 rushing yards, along with 105 passing Touchdowns, 29 rushing Touchdowns, 15 of those Touchdowns came last season. He only 14 career interceptions, and his career college passer rating is 171.8. And here is a stat, he NEVER fumbled the ball.

Mariota can flat out play, and he has the ability to play under different coaches as he had to do that when Chip Kelly left for the NFL. He can run, he can pass, and he can definitely air it out. He is a solid game manager and has a good head on his shoulders. While I think Winston has a great career ahead of him, I think he is going to struggle with some of his past demons that haunted him while he was with Florida State. I ultimately think that Winston will be his own worst enemy in the NFL, thus Mariota will have a better NFL career than Jameis Winston.

Draft JamisDJ: Steve-O, it’s been a while since we’ve done one of these debates in a while. Looking forward to it.

1-College stats are never a precursor to success in the NFL. If it were, players like Tim Tebow would have become a star and obviously, he didn’t. I could go on and on but he’s a relevant recent example.

2-Jameis Winston is set up for immediate success right away. Why you may ask? He is going to be surrounded by a better supporting cast of players. Vincent Jackson is a proven NFL WR (70 receptions, 14.3 yards per catch, and 2 TD’s) and Mike Evans is a promising 2nd year player who had an amazing rookie season (68 catches, 15.5 ypc and 12 TD’s).

A young QB needs good talent at the skill positions in order to succeed, here’s a quick example: Andrew Luck had Reggie Wayne, not to mention Donnie Avery and TA Hilton. Very rarely does a young QB have immediate success without proven talent.

3-Winston played his college career in an NFL-style offense (unlike Mariota) and that will make his transition much smoother. Having experience with the pro-style offense makes all the difference in the world since Mariota’s going to need a learning curve with the Titans.

Mariota 2Steve: I don’t disagree with you that college stats are not something to write home to mom about when it comes to the NFL alas Tim Tebow. However, one stat sticks out to me as the biggest problem for Winston, Interceptions.

Winston threw more interceptions last year, than Mariota did in his three years at Oregon. Winston admitted to Jon Gruden that he always finds his favorite target and will throw to him, making him too predictable. If he throws a ton of Interceptions in the NFL, he is not going to have much success.

Mariota has another weapon to his arsenal. He can run. 29 career rushing touchdowns in two years. That is more than some teams in a season. While Winston can run, he has the tendency to get rushed while in the pocket and panics, there for throws an interception. Mariota, while has not had the experience much in the pocket, he has been working on it in the offseason with his coaches, and the tall tell signs is that he is going to be a solid all around quarterback.

Then I can bring up the off field issues that have plagued Winston. He has had so many issues that put him in the spotlight in a negative way, now with a new found fame and fortune is that going to change? Mariota has a good head on his shoulders and is not going to have these kinds of issues. Not saying that Winston is going to get in trouble, but his history leaves some question.

Winston 2DJ: Winston did throw more INT’s this season and he’ll have to make better decisions in the NFL but he’s also going to have a better SUPPORTING cast in the pros.

That is going to help him immensely since he won’t have to pressure his throws like he did this past season when Florida State had a lot of pressure on them to perform well last season. The QB coach will work with him on his footwork and the little things he needs to do to become a good pro.

All the scouts have said Winston’s talent is undeniable and his being comfortable in the pocket is A HUGE advantage over most rookie QB’s.

It’s too early to say Mariota is going to be solid because he is working on it (moving around in the pocket) in the offseason. It’s a lot different once you have a defender rushing you. And running in the NFL is a little harder to do than in college. The players are bigger, stronger, and faster. And Winston can run when he needs to.

Winston is going to be the better pro because he has the better supporting cast. And that’s something you haven’t addressed to this point.

Mariota 3Steve: You are calling Tampa Bay a better supporting cast? I guess thats why they finished with the worst record in the NFL last season. I will not argue the fact that Winston is going to be great, he has some gifted talent. The problem I have with Winston is that he is too predictable and NFL defenders will eat him alive, sure he can move in the pocket, and yes that will give him an advantage. He has yet to prove to me that he can run, as he never had a lot of success with running the football like Mariota has had.

Jon Gruden even said that Mariota’s talent is on another level and he is going to be a great disciplined quarterback. While he did say Winston has a better arm, he lacks the mental aspect of the game that will benefit Mariota.

This is the topic of this debate DJ, Who is going to have a better NFL career? Not who is the better quarterback overall. Winston may have just a notch above Mariota as far as overall skill, but being a quarterback in the NFL takes more than skill, it takes will and determination, he needs to be a leader on and off of the field. That is where Marcus Mariota will shine, and overall is going to have a better career in the NFL over Jameis Winston.

***off the record, its been fun doing this again DJ, we will have to do it again soon.***

Winston 3DJ: Mariota has the bigger obstacle to overcome, coming to the NFL from a gimmicky offense. Traditional pro style QB’s have the easier and more successful transition to the NFL, that’s pretty much a fact. I could list the players but it’s pretty much a given for fans that follow the game.

Tampa and Tennessee both finished 2-14 last season actually, tied for the worst record. And yes, the Bucs have the better supporting cast. They had Josh McCown and Mike Glennon playing QB for them last season, neither set the league on fire, they were sacked a combined 52 times. Winston will be much more mobile than either QB and at the very least, buy some time for his wide receivers to get open and make a play.

Jackson and Evans are going to be Winston’s security blanket as he learns how to play the game at the elite level. A better supporting cast cannot be overlooked and it will prove to be the difference in why Winston will have the better career. And that in itself is vague, does it mean more wins or better numbers? I’m going with Winston here and I think I have proven why. A better supporting cast means all the difference in the world. And this is why I’m confident he’ll have the better career.

*Do it again sometime? Damn straight, just consider me a barstool whore, LOL*

Steve defeated DJ, 7-5, in the Voting

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Big time sports fan of the Lakers, Raiders, Angels and Dodgers. From 1990-1995, I worked at the Glendale News-Press and I had a blast. I covered mainly high school sporting events and Glendale Community College athletic events, but also attended Dodgers, Raiders, and Rams games. I also write for Joel Huerto (former co-writer and editor at the GNP) at I watch a lot of sports on TV (basketball, football, usually just postseason MLB) and UFC.


  1. Good debate. I’ll admit I voted for Mariota here. Why? Jameis’ interceptions are pretty troubling. Quarterbacks throw interceptions, it happens, but a lot of Jameis’ interceptions were horrible throws. It’s like he had no idea what the defense was giving him when he made a lot of stupid decisions with the ball. So if he seems to have troubles reading college defenses, I don’t see how he’d get much better as a pro.

  2. I have no problem with the interceptions. He threw more, and made the mistake of focusing on only one receiver. Nearly every interception he threw was intended for Rashaad Green. That’s teachable. Plus he’ll have two world class receivers at Tampa. He wasn’t having trouble reading defenses, he was simply trying to force the ball to his favorite target. And Rashaad Green is an amazing target. But defenses pick up on that, and play accordingly. Maturity and experience will teach him to check off, and not force it in to one receiver. he’ll be fine.

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