The Buccaneers concluded their private workouts with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Florida State’s Jameis Winston. They will continue to work some guys out but the pick will be a quarterback — in this case Winston.
How so? Based on everything TheBayCave.com has gathered for months, nothing has led me to believe otherwise, especially in the last 48 hours or so. With that said, here are some noteworthy pieces of information from what I came away with recently coming from the workouts of Mariota and Winston.
- There are members of the Buccaneers offensive coaching staff that do like Marcus Mariota including offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian.
- Koetter solicited the staff to study Mariota some more. Thanks in part to his conversations with good friend Mark Helfrich, Oregon’s head coach.
- Mariota’s workout lasted longer. The team had several plays for him from under center. While the Bucs came away decently pleased with how he performed based on what they gave him, there were some minor struggles from the potential first-round pick. He did “OK” during the meeting part.
- Winston’s camp would like “confirmation from the Bucs soon on their decision for the No. 1 pick. Tampa Bay is aware. Just like an applicant interviewing for a job, Winston is merely following up with the team.
- The team was as impressed with Winston during his workout as they were before, hitting on everything the Bucs gave him — field work, meeting, etc.
- There is a consensus among several scouts and the coaching staff (including Koetter and Bajakian) that Winston has a higher floor and greater potential than Mariota.
- Nothing has changed the opinion of general manager Jason Licht and head coach Lovie Smith for Jameis Winston as they still are leaning his way. But there is a slight difference and that is the margin of Smith’s appreciation for Winston to Mariota is much larger.
- A decision on who they will officially draft will come well before April 30. Whether that decision will be made public is unknown — doubtful in my opinion. However, I will say this, if Winston cancels workouts in the coming weeks, then that’s how you will know that he is the pick, similar to Andrew Luck’s situation from a couple years ago with Indianapolis.
- Only thing that will prevent a Winston and Buccaneers marriage is a mistake from the 21-year old. If there is one, the door will open for anything, including UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley later in the draft.