Marcus Mariota vs Jameis Winston: How Do The Top Two Draft Picks Stack Up?


The last two seasons in College Football were dominated by two names at Quarterback. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.

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The opening game of the 2015 NFL season the number one pick and number two pick face each other. It was the first time in NFL history that top two quarterbacks picked faced each other in a season opener. Mariota, who many experts said didn’t have next level talent outplayed the suppose NFL ready Winston. Mariota the 2014 Hesiman winner, threw for four touchdowns, 209 yards and no interceptions. In a 42-14 blowout win, much like his dominate win over Winston in the Rose Bowl. Winston the 2013 Heisman winner and 2013 national champ, saw his first pass of his NFL career intercepted and taken back for a touchdown. He finished the game with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

After the showdown between Marcus Mariota vs Jameis Winston, many still thought that Winston was still the clear choice as a franchise quarterback as the season progressed. Both quarterbacks had games where they struggled and both had games where they truly shined, affirming to fans of both that they belonged at the next level. Mariota would miss two weeks following an injury to his left knee, he also had to deal with the firing of Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued to impress people as they won games behind a strong running game as Winston was getting more comfortable leading the Buccaneers.

As of now, Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a 6-6 record, thanks to the strong running of Doug Martin. Winston has also been playing well. In 12 games he has a 85.6 rating, 2,877 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Marcus Mariota in 10 games has a 95.1 rating, 2,512 yards, 19 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. The Tennessee Titans have a record of 3-9 and are out of the playoff picture. Tampa Bay is a longshot to make the playoffs, but last week a win over the Atlanta Falcons brought them back to .5oo.

If Tampa Bay can finish strong with four games left in the season and make the playoffs it would give Winston the edge in who is the better quarterback. History tells us that if two quarterbacks are drafted one and two, one will be a bust. This however looks different, as both Mariota and Winston continue to prove themselves in the NFL. As of now Marcus Mariota looks to be the better quarterback. He is a more explosive player, witnessed last week in his 87 yard touchdown run, laying to rest the assumption that his speed wouldn’t be a factor at the next level. He has a better quarterback rating, less interceptions, better completion percentage 63.4% to Winston 58.6%. With four games to be played in their first season in the NFL it maybe a little premature to rate the two quarterbacks. It would probably be better to look at the two five years from now. As of now Mariota looks to be the better quarterback.

Next: Oregon Ducks Football 2015: A Season Of What If's

Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans visit the New York Jets on Sunday while Winston and the Buccaneers host the New Orleans Saints.