The Tennessee Titans have the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, where Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston could (and should) both be serious options. Despite the unlikelihood of both of these players being available with the second pick, the Titans have to evaluate both players like they will have a chance to draft them.
With the season over and a college career's worth of film in the books, all that is left for the two quarterbacks is the NFL Scouting Combine, Pro Days, private workouts, and meetings. Well today both of these players participated in the combine, and here is what those performances said.
Whether it was Mariota or Winston, it was hard to find a bad word to read about these two quarterbacks after their pressers this week. From what I read, Mariota was more impressive in individual team meetings, seemingly blowing teams away with a football I.Q. they didn't expect him to have.
On the other hand, everyone was also very impressed with the way Winston handled the spotlight. Winston didn't seem to be reading something overly rehearsed and was very charismatic and entertaining with the crowd. Obviously he will be heavily scrutinized this offseason from a legal perspective, but he seemed far from nefarious in front of the spotlight.
This isn't really fair because Marcus Mariota looked incredible today (and for much of his career in Oregon). In fact, look at this clip from NFL Network simulcasting the 40-yard dashes of Mariota, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Mariota finished with a QB-best 4.52 in the 40 this year.
Winston on the other hand had the reputation of a mover in the pocket, but there is a clear line between "mover" and "running threat" and he showed today why he won't be the latter in the NFL. Running a 4.97, Winston was the fourth slowest quarterback at the combine this year.
Time will tell which one of these players is better and obviously the most important things at the combine happen behind the scenes with meetings and the medical checks, but Mariota has had a very good combine and Winston hasn't been bad either. If both continue to impress like this down the road, it will be hard for the Titans to pass up one of these players...unless Leonard Williams has a great combine.