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Mark Dominik would take Marcus Mariota over Jameis Winston

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Dominik is no longer the general manager for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he still has opinions about what they should do with the first overall pick: take Marcus Mariota over Jameis Winston.

"I think you take Mariota. That's who I would take right now,'' the Tampa Bay Times quotes Mark Dominik as saying. "To me, the talent level is not that different. Mariota has got a quick release, they're both very smart, they both understand offenses, they both get the ball out, there's a lot things that are very similar. But the thing that's different is the fact that there's an X factor in Winston right now. If you don't feel comfortable saying he's the face of the franchise, I don't think the difference is enough to sit there and say you don't take Mariota.''

I don't quite agree with that. While Mariota and Winston both have plenty of positive on-field traits and a few questions, the nature of those questions is very different. Winston has a better arm and has displayed more of an ability to make tight-window NFL-level throws, and his experience from under center should make his transition a little easier than Mariota's. Winston's aggressiveness and at times questionable decision-making could turn into issues at the NFL level, while Mariota has to try to show that he can be more aggressive and make more tight-window throws. On some levels, this is question of which style of quarterback a team prefers.

But Dominik is correct in noting that the biggest problem for Winston are the off-field question marks. Winston will have to answer those questions in the pre-draft process, especially in interview.

"The first thing I would ask him is give me a reason why I can trust you," Mark Dominik said, via the Tampa Bay Times. "Show me something you've done in the last three months why I can trust you. Then I would follow it up with, "Okay, now give me another one.' Because I want to see if he's really working at it because that's the most important thing about Jameis Winston, is whether or not you can trust him to run your organization.''