TAMPA, Fla. -- Many fans are under the assumption that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are choosing between quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota with the first pick in the 2015 NFL draft. But one expert believes it's not even a contest.
"I honestly don't think they're close as prospects," ESPN NFL Insider Matt Williamson said. "I just think Winston is so far ahead of Mariota. Winston can step right in and run a pro-style offense because he's been doing it in college. I'm not taking anything away from Mariota. He has great athletic ability. But it's a total unknown if he can run a pro-style offense. Winston is the obvious pick in my eyes."
But Williamson doesn't think Winston is perfect -- yet.
"There is room for improvement there," Williamson said. "He has a little [Jay] Cutler in him in that he will try to force some things that just aren't there. You want a quarterback that's confident, but you don't want him to be so confident that he's taking risks and throwing interceptions."
Williamson praised Winston's leadership abilities.
"He has a strong personality," Williamson said. "I haven't met Mariota. But, from what I've seen and heard, he's much quieter. That's not always a good thing for a quarterback."
Mariota's strength is his running ability. He ran the spread offense in college. But Williamson said Mariota will need to develop other skills to succeed in the NFL.
"He has a ton of athletic ability," Williamson said. "But, like [Robert] Griffin [III] and [Cam Newton], you can get by for a year or two with your legs. It will catch up to you after a year or two. It remains to be seen if he can be a solid pocket passer."