Why the Big Fuss with Mariota Not Concerned About Being Top Overall Selection?

Now that the NFL Combine has taken place and he has performed at the University of Oregon Pro Day, former Oregon Ducks’ quarterback Marcus Mariota has downplayed talk he will be the second quarterback taken on April 30. The fact that Mariota seems accepting that former Florida St. quarterback Jameis Winston will be drafted number one overall does not sit well with some NFL teams.mariota

I guess some teams are questioning Mariota’s competitive nature by not saying he should be the number one pick and would be truly disappointed if another player was drafted before him.

I think NFL teams should be worrying about their own players especially those who have absolutely no chance of landing him in the draft.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the first pick in the draft and it has been stated they prefer Winston over Mariota. However, they are doing their due diligence and are bringing in a number of prospects to interview and work out before the draft including Mariota.

Buccaneers.com writer Scott Smith asked Mariota the following question while he was in town.

“The draft’s just a little bit ahead now. If the Buccaneers did make that pick, that would be the first pick in the draft, something only a few men every year have a shot at. Is that something that’s important to you?”

Mariota’s response was what I would expect from a player who has been linked to a number of teams.

“You know, being the first pick, to me, it’s not a huge thing. You know, I’d love to play for the Bucs. But that being said, you know, I think if you find a team that wants you, that’s going to be the right team. I’m looking forward to kind of marketing myself and finding that team.”

Seriously, what is wrong with that response? I am sure Mariota would love to be the first overall selection from a financial standpoint as well as for personal pride. However, his response also took into consideration if he is not drafted number one overall. If Mariota said he only wanted to be the number one pick, then some teams might be put off by that statement and bypass him altogether.

It seems like Mariota is in a catch 22 with however he chooses to answer the question about the importance of being the number one pick.

Quite frankly, I believe Mariota is the best quarterback in the draft and should be drafted first overall. The Bucs are down to 39 days to make a choice that can turn their franchise around. They have made a splash in free agency upgrading their defense. Will Mariota or Winston be the missing piece? Either way, I see Mariota having a more productive NFL career.

And that’s…as I see it!

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