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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Ron Jaworski hearing Bucs will take Marcus Mariota, not Jameis Winston

Marcus Mariota Heisman Trophy

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a serious decision to make in a couple of weeks regarding who they will select with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. Many believe the Bucs have already settled on Jameis Winston, but there has been a lot of doubt swirling around over the past several days.

On Friday, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski told CSN’s “Philly Sports Talk” that he has been hearing the Bucs will take Marcus Mariota first overall.

“The latest I’m hearing now from my sources around the league, who are pretty wired in, is that (Mariota is) going to go number one now to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Jaworski said, as transcribed by Tim McManus of Philly Magazine. “Mariota’s stock, remember it was quiet for a while? And there’s a reason for that.

“There’s a lull every year until about 30 days before the draft. Now the coaches get involved. Prior to that, it’s the scouts, it’s the roadies that are filling out the paper work. Now the coaches get involved. Now team owners get involved. Now general managers get involved. So you’re starting to see, in my opinion, Winston’s stock starting to slide a little bit and Mariota’s stock starting to go up a little bit.”

It’s hard to tell how good Jaworski’s information is, especially since he was critical of Winston last month and said the former Florida State star has plenty of flaws in his game. One second Jaws was saying his “wired in” sources say the Bucs have settled on Mariota, and the next he said Mariota’s stock is rising in his “opinion.” Which one is it?

For what it’s worth, a separate report from last week indicated that the Bucs still have concerns about Winston’s off-field issues. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has also suddenly moved Mariota ahead of Winston in his draft rankings, so Jaws could be onto something.

Given what we heard about Winston at the scouting combine, it seemed like he had emerged as a lock to go first overall. Perhaps we all need to stay tuned.

H/T Pro Football Talk

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