There wasn't much debate abbout whether Marcus Mariota was the top player in college football last season. However, opinions about Mariota's NFL potential are more mixed than Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's children.
Jameis Winston’s projected to be a much better pro quarterback, but concerns about his off-field maturity will plague him between now and the NFL Draft in May. I’ve made the point before that quarterbacks of Mariota’s ilk shouldn’t be thrust into the starting role so quickly or they’ll risk spoiling him before he’s a finished product.
Pre-snap reads, taking snaps under center, making multiple reads and anticipation throws aren’t things he’s used to doing. All rookie quarterbacks have an adjustment period, but it’s longer for quarterbacks who are used to glancing at the sidelines at coaches or cardboard cutouts as cheatsheets to identify which reads to make.
Mariota is projected as the No. 1 overall pick, but teams at the top such as Tampa Bay (and Tennessee would prefer not to draft a Jake Locker clone) needs quick answers at quarterback—not an assembly-required signal caller.