Will The Bucs Draft Marcus Mariota?

Marcus Mariota is widely expected to be the first quarterback off the board when the NFL draft rolls around, and the Bucs look increasingly likely to land the number one pick. So...what are the odds that Mariota ends up in Tampa Bay?

There are a few variables to consider here - first, the Bucs already have a player they've repeatedly tabbed as their quarterback of the future. Mike Glennon is only in his second NFL season, and while he hasn't set the world on fire, he's been surprisingly solid, given Tampa's abysmal 6-23 record since drafting him. Glennon has thrown 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 18 starts, and while the Bucs are just 5-13 with him under center, they're an even worse 1-10 when he doesn't start.

Glennon was named Lovie Smith's QB of the future back in May, but doubts have started to creep in with the team still starting Josh McCown over the former NC State QB. If the Bucs aren't starting Glennon even in experimental lineups with no shot at the playoffs...well, it doesn't make it look like the team has much confidence in Glennon.

Mariota is definitely a more heralded prospect - he's a Heisman winner who keeps drawing comparisons to Aaron Rodgers - but some scouts and talent evaluators have reservations. ESPN's Mel Kiper said he doesn't see Mariota - or anyone in this draft - as a franchise QB, and interestingly, there have been remarkably few Oregon QBs or Heisman-winning QBs to find success in the NFL (Cam Newton is the only successful Heisman-winning QB since 2004, and Oregon's last true NFL star at the position was Dan Fouts way back in the 70's).

So...will the Bucs draft Marcus Mariota? We think it's highly unlikely. If Mariota was, say, Andrew Luck, they'd take him in a heartbeat, but unlike with Luck, no one is calling Mariota a sure-fire NFL star. With Mike Glennon still the public QB of the future, we think it's much more likely that the Bucs bolster their defensive line by taking someone like USC's versatile Leonard Williams or Nebraska's Randy Gregory with their first pick.

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