Ex-Titans scouting director: Marcus Mariota was “an easy choice” over Jameis Winston

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Heading into the 2015 NFL draft, pretty much everyone agreed that quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were the top two players. But not everyone agreed on the order between the top two.

As it turned out, the Buccaneers took Winston first overall, and the Titans took Mariota second. Now the person who was running Tennessee’s scouting says the Titans were ecstatic that the Bucs chose the quarterback Tennessee saw as the lesser of the two.

Picking Mariota was “an easy choice at that time,” former Titans director of scouting Blake Beddingfield told Paul Kuharsky of 104.5 The Zone.

Beddingfield said the Titans might have settled for Winston if the Bucs had taken Mariota, but they were definitely convinced on draft day that they were getting the better of the two players.

Of course, Beddingfield may come across as a little self-serving saying that now, after Winston has been suspended three games for groping an Uber driver. But Beddingfield made similar comments a year ago. And character was one of the primary arguments at the time for preferring Mariota over Winston: Mariota had a squeaky-clean image, while Winston had been accused of rape at Florida State, in addition to other off-field issues.

It’s now easy to see why weighing character as well as on-field performance made Mariota the superior pick.

62 responses to “Ex-Titans scouting director: Marcus Mariota was “an easy choice” over Jameis Winston

  1. It’s going to get to the point where players with iffy off-field images are going to stop getting drafted in the first couple rounds.

  2. I don’t believe everyone had them both in the top 2. As I recall, several experts said Winston’s character issues would prevent them from drafting him that high.

  3. “It’s now easy to see why weighing character as well as on-field performance made Mariota the superior pick.”
    ====================================

    Sorry, the jury is still out on that draft class. Mariota has won nothing either.

    Sure, Mariota is squeaky-clean, but if Winston wins two Super Bowls in his career, are you willing to say Mariota was still the “superior pick”? I doubt it.

    Look at the 2004 draft – do people say Philip Rivers is the “superior pick” over Ben Roesthlisberger because of Ben’s past indiscretions? Nope.

  4. Winston is still the best of the young QBs despite all the conjecture from those who held their breath for three years hoping for even the slightest thing to happen so that they would be vindicated in their hope that he would fail.

    Sad state of affairs.

  5. Neither QB is worth spit. Both will never be anything. The Rapist Winston will also likely end his career and then go to jail. Mariotta will end his career and whine that his manager stole from him.

  6. longislandcowboysfan33 says:
    July 2, 2018 at 4:27 pm
    Not everyone can draft like the Cowboys!
    ————-

    Great point. The Cowboys never draft people with character issues…

  7. Look at the 2004 draft – do people say Philip Rivers is the “superior pick” over Ben Roesthlisberger because of Ben’s past indiscretions? Nope.

    ———————

    Some people would, yeah. In fact, Rivers is a better QB than Eli Manning too.

  8. Of course he is now. Fact is, they are performance-wise very similar QBs. Character-wise…there isn’t a question. Performance-wise the problem is they are both kind of middle of the pack. Neither will be elite IMHO.

  9. Mariota is the one guy who has to love all of this bad pub for Winston.
    He’s made out to be the Peyton Manning to Winston’s Leaf. Even though MM threw 13 TDs against 15 picks last year. Not exactly lighting it up in the league.

  10. I seem to recall a number of draft pundits suggest JW might fall due to concerns over his character.

  11. No one needed special scouting skills to see that TRUTH!
    Bucs were trying to appease their “hometown” fans and GOT BURNT!
    FSU hasn’t really produced NFL talent at qb much less all his character flaws…

  12. Mr. Wright 212 says:
    July 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm
    Winston is still the best of the young QBs despite all the conjecture from those who held their breath for three years hoping for even the slightest thing to happen so that they would be vindicated in their hope that he would fail.

    Sad state of affairs.

    ==============================================================================================

    I think a man named Wentz would be the Top young guy followed by a guy named Goff……..Even A guy named Watson has shown a bit more than Grab Legs has

  13. Mariota might not pan out to be an elite QB, but it sure will be easy to root for him if he does. Winston, on the other hand, is a disgraceful piece of human garbage who shows no remorse for his predatory behavior. No one will cry for him when his time runs out.

  14. shannonburnham says:
    Uh…aren’t these the same guys who drafted Zach Mettenberger?
    ——————-

    Eh, Mettenberger was a 6th round pick.

  15. This is a different remembrance than what I have and I bet if we go back what articles would say. I remember Winston being the #1 choice by most as way more people questioned Mariota and if he could make the throws and reads of an NFL offense because of the running he did and wide open college offense he ran at Oregon. I remember most thought the Titans would trade the pick due to reservations.

  16. Easy to say in revisionist history you’d take Mariota when you had the No. 2 pick. Had the Titans had the No. 1 pick, I’m not so sure they would have taken Mariota.

  17. A lot of people could say it was an easy choice–if character matters to you at all.

    Winston shouldn’t even be in the NFL.

  18. ‘Uh…aren’t these the same guys who drafted Zach Mettenberger?”

    ————

    And Mettenberger actually played well for them when filling in for the starter. The team was so God-awful at the time that they managed to lose every one but one of those games, even games where Mettenberger excelled. Their own mismanagement of the offense, the roster, and Mettenberger himself are the reasons they lost games, not a sixth rounder they actually got a number of starts from.

    I know he’s no Brady or Brees or Rodgers, but the sentiment seems to be on this board that if you’re not a top 5 quarterback, you’re a waste and don’t deserve to be the in the league.

  19. I remember having fierce debates on this site as well as the college version about who was the better pick. Mr Wright was wrong after all. Quack Quack…

  20. Mr. Wright 212 says:
    July 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm
    Winston is still the best of the young QBs despite all the conjecture from those who held their breath for three years hoping for even the slightest thing to happen so that they would be vindicated in their hope that he would fail.

    ————-

    What has Winston shown in his play that would make you say that? So far he has 47 TDs and 29 Ints….. 29 ints in two seasons stinks.

  21. How good a QB is Mariota anyway?
    For the #2 pick is he really THAT good?
    He seems ok, a solid Tier 2QB, but nothing to be thrilled with.
    Not a franchise QB.

  22. Character doesn’t mean squat in this country. That’s pretty obvious by now, isn’t it? Why should we even care about the character of a freaking football player? It’s not important. Football is a game, remember?

  23. How many years before a franchise quarterback really shows it? Does anyone know? Dante Culpepper and Aaron Rogers each sat a year before even playing ( not that they are equal) it seems like people want to dump on a QB if they aren’t turning heads in the first or second year. Russell Wilson, Ben Rothlesburg, and Dan Marino lit it up as rookies. I don’t honestly know if that is what we should expect from a rookie QB.

  24. If Winston wasn’t a piece of garbage of a human being and could cut down on the turnovers by not being so jacked up on the field, he could be an elite QB. Unfortunately, I don’t think he can stop being a piece of garbage. Also those eating W’s pregame speeches tells me that he needs psychiatric help.

  25. @Nhpats, winston has played three seasons 69tds and 44ints And is in the top five in tds and yards in nfl history for a Quarterbacks first three seasons

  26. longislandcowboysfan33 says:
    July 2, 2018 at 4:27 pm
    Not everyone can draft like the Cowboys!
    —————————————————-
    Are you referring to the same Cowboys who didn’t make the playoffs last year? Maybe you’re referring to the Cowboys the year prior? You know, the boys who had a first round bye and then home field advantage and lost!

  27. Marcus Mariota has had superior offensive line play, two big time running backs, several 1st round picks at wr…and yet doesnt put up stats big time stats. Great call on that one.

  28. Let’s not all get caught up in the moment. Based on character issues Winston is a huge liability. From a talent perspective Mariota doesn’t even come close. Mariota just doesn’t have to work as hard.

    There aren’t many teams that can make the playoffs despite their starting QB throwing more INTs than TDs…

  29. For those of you bashing Mariota because of his stats aren’t looking at the whole picture. His old coach, Mike Mularkey, ran an offense from the 1970’s. Remember the phrase “exotic smashmouth”? That’s basically run 9 times in a row and pass once. Just watch this year, they’re actually building the offense around his skillset and bringing the offense into this decade. You will see a much improved Marcus Mariota this year.

  30. Horsecrap…..I’m not believing for one second it was an easy choice. Easy to say now, yes, but then?..hell no. heisman winner, National champion, Unproven character issue. Stop just stop!

  31. Mr. Wright 212 says:

    July 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Winston is still the best of the young QBs despite all the conjecture from those who held their breath for three years hoping for even the slightest thing to happen so that they would be vindicated in their hope that he would fail.

    Sad state of affairs.
    ———————-
    Mr. Wrong, you so crazy!
    ———————

  32. Clearly a bunch of brainiacs on this site.

    Mariota’s first 2 seasons had him looking like a future superstar. Last year was tough because their 1985 offense finally failed them (no running game & stupid route combos) & he regressed a bit. But that kid plays with heart & it showed in the playoffs. With a modern OC & healthy offseason I expect him to have a stellar year this year. Not sure why everyone wants to hate on this kid. He’s easy to root for, his teammates love him, & he has tons of talent. He’s been held back by coaching. Just wait, he’s gonna turn heads this year.

    Winston has tons of talent too. But he just seems to make absolutely stupid decisions on & off the field. He will keep getting chances though because the talent is there.

  33. theboysvlog says:
    July 2, 2018 at 5:08 pm
    Mariota is the one guy who has to love all of this bad pub for Winston.“
    ——————————
    I seriously doubt he gives a flip? How would it even benefit him to feel this way? He’s probably more focused on, you know, his own career?

  34. Winston is still the best of the young QBs despite all the conjecture from those who held their breath for three years hoping for even the slightest thing to happen so that they would be vindicated in their hope that he would fail.

    Sad state of affairs.
    ====================================================
    Yeah its everyone else’s fault except for Winston Smdh. That’s the problem Winston has been enabled by people like you his entire football career.

  35. Mariota has been that good at all since being drafted & he regressed a bit last season. Winston hasnt been great either, but I think he’s been better than Mariota. I have a hard time believing that if given the choice between the two that TENN wouldnt of taken Winston on draft day.

  36. The two things I love most about Mariota? He’s still growing (despite having his fourth play-caller in four years). And while no quarterback will ever be as tough as Steve McNair, like No. 9, Mariota has serious intangibles. Think about. In the last game of the 2016 season Mariota threw the biggest stiff-arm in Titans history, securing a win and a trip to the playoffs. A week later, he threw the biggest block in Titans history, securing a win and the team’s first playoff victory in 14 years.

  37. tlb44 says:
    July 3, 2018 at 9:15 am
    easy decision……..but will either of them ever win a title?
    ——————————————————————————
    LMAO…so you think all “great” QB’s should win titles?
    History lesson for you, one of the most prolific passing QB’s in history who would have KILLED it in today’s NFL of no touch on WR’s after 5 yards, Dan Marino never won a title.

    Dan Fouts never won a title though he was another great QB.

    Johnny Unitas who threw for 47,000+ yards in an era where they could knock the hell out of you and break your jaw, never won a title.

    We could go on and on….

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