Ron Wolf and Bill Polian will go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, based largely on their ability to find the right quarterback at the right time.
So it’s interesting that the two are split on this year’s draft class, and which they’d prefer if they were picking.
Via Peter King of Sports Illustrated, the two legendary personnel men each offered conditions on their choices, while going opposite directions.
“Both guys have a chance to be successful [but] the bottom line is … adversity will come,” Polian said. “I’ve got to go with the more sure thing in my mind—Mariota.”
“If I had to pick, based strictly on what I know now, I’d pick Winston,” said Wolf.
Polian admitted he doesn’t have access to all the information the Buccaneers would have on Winston, based on their voluminous research. And Wolf confessed that he’s seen more of Winston than Mariota. And since neither of them are working in the NFL at the moment, they are opinions — although highly qualified ones.
“He’s an imposing guy. He has everything you’d want in a quarterback,” Wolf said of Winston. “I thought he was superb. What I know about Winston I like a lot. I’d take him in a heartbeat.”
Given Polian’s hesitance to endorse Winston without seeing all the reports, he was asked if they were equal, whether he’d still prefer Mariota.
“Very, very close,” said the guy who made franchise-deciding choices in 1995 in Carolina and 1998 in Indianapolis. “But I’d probably lean toward Mariota, as I said. It’s closer than Manning-Leaf was. Way closer. More like Collins-McNair in ’95.”
Of course, Polian had success, and is going into the Hall, based on the work of a guy who was mechanical and clean. Wolf’s ticket was punched thanks to a guy who had his share of off-field adventures, and was willing to take a chance from time to time [Brett Favre]. So their leanings might be based on past experiences as much as current tape.