Mike Mayock at nfl.com explains why he thinks Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is a better prospect than consensus number one overall pick Jameis Winston:
“‘I’ve been fighting with this thing all along. There have been two issues for me with Winston. Number one is on the field. He threw 18 interceptions this year. On a team that arguably had the best talent in the country, he continued to put his team at a disadvantage almost weekly,’ Mayock said on NFL Network’s ‘Path to the Draft’ Wednesday. ‘ … Off the field, regardless of what did or didn’t happen in that alleged rape, he continued a pattern of poor decisions throughout his career. The bottom line for me is, can you trust him off the field?”
I don’t think that’s two issues. I think its one.
People always like to separate what happens off the field with players from what happens on the field. In fact, many fans will tell you that they don’t care what an athlete does when he’s not at the stadium as long as he plays on Sunday. I think this is a mistake. These players are one person. The same person that plays on the field is the one that behaves in whatever manner he does off the field.
Winston’s problems on the field and his problems off the field are the same issue – he’s impulsive. He does stupid things on the spur of the moment without thinking about the consequences. That leads to interceptions on the field and to dumb mistakes like screaming obscenities in public and having sex with drunk college girls off the field. Whether you think it should drop him in the draft or not, he’s one guy with one serious issue. Keeping that tendency from hurting him – no matter where he is – will be the challenge of whatever team drafts him.