Rose Bowl - Oregon v Florida StateThrough the popular series “Gruden’s QB Camp”, ESPN analyst Jon Gruden has spent time with both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota during the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. And now, two days before Chicago’s prime time event, the former Buccaneer’s head coach believes it’s Mariota who should be leading Tampa Bay in 2015.

“I don’t understand why (Mariota) isn’t the No. 1 player in this draft on Mel Kiper’s Big Board,” Gruden said on Tuesday to Mel Kiper, via ProFootballTalk.com. “I don’t know anybody in this draft that can do for a football team what Mariota can do.”

Gruden went on to knock the common criticism that Mariota is a “system quarterback”, alluding to the spread-style concepts he ran in college at Oregon.

“He can read the field,” Gruden said. “That whole thing about Oregon being a no-huddle, dive-option team, that is just a narrative resulting from a lack of information. The Ducks run a lot of pro-style concepts. Mariota does a lot with the protections. I’ve seen him throw the ball with touch and timing in tight windows.”

In making his final case, Gruden pointed out the fact that Mariota not only ran a 4.52 forty (Winston ran a 4.97), but that he’s also the same size as the Florida State product, even drawing a comparison to Russell Wilson.

“He is incredibly elusive, and man, is he a playmaker and a great competitor,” Gruden said. “I see him functioning in the pocket, out of the pocket, and if you want to run a zone-read, he’ll rip the defense apart. He is like Russell Wilson, only he is 6-4.”

 

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: [email protected]
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pinkstob

I’ll re-post what I said in the other article. Mariota does not have a “type”. There’s never been a QB like Mariota to enter the draft. That’s why you have to watch so many games of his to figure out what you have. He’s not Kaepernick because he’s a better decision maker. He’s not RGIII because he’s a better decision maker and he doesn’t have the horrible sense of entitlement and ego. He’s not Cam Newton because he’s not as strong but faster and more mature. He’s not Alex Smith because he has a stronger and more accurate arm. He’s… Read more »

kino

I would go back to decision making and on field confidence, Mariota also worked off half a field a lot , hence less interceptions and higher completion percentage.Winston clearly excels in these three areas over Mariota.Can Mariota capture these and work the whole field in the nfl, can Winston keep his weight down and avoid Winston issues well that’s the toss up ? Mariota is also much more sackable than Winston so 40 times mean nothing they are just fools gold.Marino, Manning enough said. Btw the Bucs must take full advantage of the first pick with the titans in the… Read more »

cgmaster27

Oh goodness pink, are you his agent now? You act like he is the second coming or something. He’s a spread QB, like every other one before him. Numbers inflated by a system. Listen, I’ve always said I think Mariota has a great chance to be successful in the NFL, if he gets to the right team. I hope he succeeds, but to say he’s a QB unlike any other is simply laughable. And to compare him to an NFL MVP in Rodgers is almost sinful. Rodgers plays from the pocket and had the ability to sit for 3 years… Read more »

pinkstob

If you would have told me a year ago when we were coming off a 4-12 season that we would be in a position to take either of the top two QB’s and one of the biggest factors amongst the local media and fans was demeanor you could’ve knocked me over with a feather. Cgmaster27, that’s been the biggest surprise to me is how many people care about the demeanor of player when that has zero impact on putting points on the board. Zero. I would have thought everyone was just as sick of losing as I was and would… Read more »

BucWild02

Schiano, Morris, Gruden, Wyche, were all rah-rah guys too. Type “A” personalities. Would you pick any of them over Dungy? Mariota can win in the NFL. He doesn’t need the right “system”. He just needs time. You keep Glennon who has two years left on his contract, you start Glennon, and you bring Mariota along. Let him adjust. If he’s ready in week 6 or 10 or whatever, you start him then. You don’t have to throw him to the wolves week 1 vs. Tennesee. You let the new offensive line gel and get some snaps under their belts. The… Read more »

JackBurton

Extremely well said and I can only hope and pray that Jason Licht and Lovie Smith are simply doing a masterful job of fooling everyone into thinking Winston is the pick. I’m still holding out hope that Koetter and Bajakian have this genius plan that will utilize Mariota’s insane skill set in some new offensive scheme they’re cooking up. The Bucs have Glennon, so why not use him while Mariota is getting aclimated with the NFL and the new offensive system if need be. Glennon is more than competent. I won’t be heart-broken if Winston is the pick, but I’d… Read more »

Morgan

Gruden’s selection of Mariota means Winston will definitely be the best pick for the Bucs.

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kino

I am floored at all this talk about Cleveland or any other team moving up for a QB and all the action being on TN. The Bucs better get on the horn and remind everyone they ain’t getting squat without taking a big chance and if they want one of the Qb’s the bucs hold the cards……. Period end of Story !! If there is a trade with Tn for a QB and the Bucs don’t Get a second, a starting o lineman or decent Lb out of the deal and still get there guy then Licht and Lovie should… Read more »

ufojoe

Gruden is right. And Mariota will be a Buccaneer by Thursday night.

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SCLOBERNOCKER

No shock here. Gruden has always prefered a mobile QB. If you told me Gruden had to choose between a pocket passer or a mobile QB, hes picking the latter 10/10 regardless if their name is Mariota or otherwise.

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pinkstob

So what is Ron Jaworski’s excuse for favoring Mariota? He’s had a bone to pick with mobile QB’s every since he lost his starting job to one in Philly. He’s always talking about mechanics and playing from within the pocket.

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cremdonado

I’m down for Mariota under one condition- we trade the 1st pick to the Bears ( they select Winston- we get the 7th,bears 1st/2nd next year and Forte and Cutler).we then trade cutler and 7th pick to Titans for 2nd pick( Mariota)… We then can have Glennon and Mariota,the Bears first/2nd rounders next year+ Forte for the trouble…We would be the studs of the draft and would have plenty of ammo to move back into the first this year or wait for next years crop…

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pinkstob

I would love a trade scenario where we pick up picks and still come away with Mariota. As well as the Bucs have set themselves up as trade partners by equally evaluating both of these guys anything is possible.

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HOFer13

I would love this as well. But I’m not sure that is worth the risk of losing Mariota. I guess I’d rather know for sure Winston won’t be my QB, my kids need a role model for the next 10 years.

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rorogator

your kids will have a role model for the next 10 years…he’s the 3rd stringer in Philadelphia

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grafikdetail

YOU are suppose to be your kids role model! not some random athlete LOL

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surferdudes

Gruden loved Rob Johnson who had similar traits to Mariota. How did that work out? Gruden also said he’d pick Cadillac Williams again, which means he’d pass over Aaron Rogers again. How did that work out Jon? Seven years Gruden was here, and aside from Brad who he inherited, we had a revolving door of has been at quarterback under his watch. He Loved Griese, Rob Johnson, some Polish kid, that ex 49er, and oh yeah, he almost got Chris Simms killed. I guess that’s why Gruden is the founding member of the fired coaches association. Jaboo wins!!! Rate this… Read more »

Horse

surferdudes is spot on. Gruden took us to the SuperBowl, but he had issues drafting people which ended up costing him his job.

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wnb0395

Gruden also didn’t have full say in who he could draft. He has already publicly admitted he wanted to draft A Peterson but was over ruled and forced to draft Adams.

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wnb0395

Surferdudes, If i remember right Griese went 4-1 for us before his season ending injury, and The Ex 49er was a probowler who did OK for us also. Those Qbs were the best option for us at the time. It wasnt like Brett Favre or Patyon Manning was avaliable. Grudens not gonna come out and say I got these OK QBs for now. He is going to say he loves them to give them confidence. I dont blame him for picking Caddy over Rodgers either. No way Rodgers would be the QB he is today if he hadn’t sat behind… Read more »

cremdonado

Gruden was fine but wasnt great~peeps give him too much damn credit period.He couldnt develop players and rather would roll dice with Vets whom he was familiar with on tape~many of his choices were bad..His best QB work was with Gannon whom he picked apart in the SB which made him look like a guru~problem was that Oakland was still using his playbook…Chuckie is entertaining but I wouldnt want him back and I wouldnt want him making the pick.

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kino

I am floored at all this talk about Cleveland or any other team moving up for a QB and all the action being on TN. The Bucs better get on the horn and remind everyone they ain’t getting squat without taking a big chance and if they want one of the Qb’s the bucs hold the cards……. Period end of Story !! If there is a trade with Tn for a QB and the Bucs don’t Get a second, a starting o lineman or decent Lb out of the deal and still get there guy then Licht and Lovie should… Read more »

BucWild02

Kino- Whoa…take it easy big fella. I would love for the Bucs to come away with one of the top QB’s in this draft, but if they trade with anyone or try to use leverage, who would it be? If they trade down to 2, it’s only because Tennessee wants Winston or Mariota. But they don’t. So who would trade with Tampa to jump in front of Cleveland? Skins? Jets? Bears? If we swap picks with any of those teams, what if they take Winston and Mariota still goes #2 to Cleveland(or whoever)? Bucs have Glennon and that’s it. I… Read more »

kino

You are clearly not thinking clearly………..let this be clear !!!! in order for anyone wanting to trade with Tn for a QB , the only way they are guaranteed to get that guy is to do a three team trade with the Bucs , the Bucs take the 2nd pick and get the QB they want plus compensation. Tn Moves and gets compensation. Third party team gets presumably Mariota . Again if any team trades with Tn for Mariota or the QB the Bucs are not targeting and the Bucs don’t get themselves in the mix and get an O… Read more »

BucWild02

But whoever trades with Tennessee will wait until AFTER the Bucs pick. They will lay groundwork right now, but no one is trading diddly until Tampa selects or trades the 1st overall pick when the Bucs are on the clock. Mark my words, thats how it will go down. Imagine if the Bucs were drafting 4th or 5th…we’d all be talking about how much we’d be willing to give up to move up and get Winston or Mariota. I love that we don’t have to give up anything to do it. Just pick whoever you like the most, probably Jameis… Read more »

kino

Wrong!!! The teams after a QB at two will pay a price for a guarantee of that player at one………. If bucs get a player ,a second, a future second hell even a third which then allows you to come up late in the first and target and get what ever player they may target.The player u pick at one is only half the deal, getting the value of the position is what today is about and shame on the Bucs if they don’t get it. Parcels, Jimmy Johson and Rich McKay would get value and their player if in… Read more »

BucWild02

Kino-It’s like a game of chicken for Tennessee. They can just wait for the Bucs to pick whoever they want, Winston or Mariota, and know that there is a market for the only other top guy left, whichever guy that may be. They don’t have to covet either player for one of them to be left at #2. Most pundits and experts and industry people are putting Winston in Tampa with the first pick. If the Bucs don’t pick Winston, I agree there is a chance the Bucs could pick Mariota, then trade Mariota to Washington, Jets, or Bears and… Read more »

Roland

Jdubb has an 70-80% chance of failure imo and a low ceiling as a success. Jdubb suffers from :Long release on medium and long range throws. Inconsistent front foot placement. Reliance on a primary receiver (locking in and throwing to covered player). Not seeing middle of the field defenders even in easy read situations. Poor game plan implementation (See the plethora of first half INTs). Poor fitness (Lovie Smith “When he gets to the next level he’ll take fitness seriously” Ummmm yeah, 15 mil and now he’ll work hard). And then there is a chance his moral compass doesn’t point… Read more »

scubog

Wake me when it’s over! We all have our mostly credible opinions. Our rationale is mostly valid to a point. The odd thing for me is those who prefer Mariota, with the exception of Pink, seem to always want to highlight the ancient ill-advised actions of Winston rather than the traits they admire in the Duck. I will say, that I somewhat agree with Pink in the sense that the more I learn about Mariota, the more I think his lack of personality may not be as much of a negative as I first thought but I still think our… Read more »

BucWild02

Scubog-The only V8 moment we’d all feel is if the Bucs trade with the Jets and pick up the Jets first 3 picks and QB Geno Smith! Wait though…if they did that and then picked up Kevin White from Smith’s alma mater to pair with Evans and Jackson, then draft 2 players in the second and 2 in the third for the offensive and defensive lines…nah, still a V8 moment.

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wnb0395

interesting read. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/marcus-mariota-is-projected-to-be-better-than-jameis-winston/

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BucWild02

Yeah, wnb0395, I read that. I live in Indianapolis and watch the Colts every week. Luck definitely extends drives from using his feet to pick up 1st downs on third downs. He also has great strength and is tough to sack. He has people draped all over him and still gets rid of the ball most times. I don’t see either one of the guys in this years draft in that category. Not mentioned in that article was Luck’s incredible accuracy. It is also a huge factor in extending drives. Lucks escapability is a big reason why he is successful.… Read more »

BucWild02

Winston is the pick. It should be entertaining to watch it all unfold over the next few years.

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