With the NFL Draft starting on Thursday, this week's #DailyDose theme will center around the draft.
Today's question for the FootballScoop staff: If you were Tampa Bay with the #1 overall draft pick, who are you taking?
There's been no shortage of speculation between Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston, so here's how the FootballScoop staff sees things.
Scott's choice: Scott is currently working the phones with multiple GMs evaluating trade proposals. Will update.
Doug's choice: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
In the shoes of the Tampa Bay General Manager, I see no better person more worthy of the #1 overall pick than Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Forget the NFL Draft analysts that say the system at Oregon didn't prepare him for The League (that wasn't the Oregon's staff's job), Mariota may not be the prototypical NFL quarterback right now, but he is the best person for the #1 money the Bucs will pony up.
To be completely honest, off the field issues did play a big part in my decision to take Mariota over Jameis Winston at #1. If you're going to write a monster check at the #1 pick, you want to be assured that you're getting a high character guy, with the background and track record to back everything up, and I would argue that no Heisman winner has handled being under a microscope and the spotlight better than Mariota since the days of Tim Tebow (2007), Sam Bradford (2008), or Robert Griffin III (2011).
Does Winston have a better arm and more NFL ready body right now? Probably. But leading an NFL franchise is so much more than that and the coupling of Mariota's unique skill set, poise, and character only come around so often, and when you're in need of an franchise quarterback like the Bucs are, you need to take advantage. If you're flexible enough to tweak your offense a bit to take advantage of his strengths, I'm confident this will turn out to be an outstanding pick.
To futher my point, how many players get this kind of video tribute from the school's student athletes in other sports? This is special.
Zach's choice: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
I've given this question a lot of thought, and I've come to two conclusions. First, I'm glad I'm not an NFL general manager; actually, who are we kidding, I'd love to be an NFL GM. Second, if this pick goes up in flames three years from now and I'm living on a Florida beach somewhere, which choice would make it easier to lay my head down on that sand and sleep at night?
The answer is clear: Marcus Mariota.
And it's not because of Winston's off-the-field concerns. Frankly, I'd love it if the NFL got out of the conduct police business altogether and admitted it is nothing more than an entertainment vehicle in which it employs the most talented football players the law allows. I'd go with Mariota because he's incredibly fun to watch and his style of play is more conducive to the type of team I'd like to run. I've seen pigheaded talk of Mariota's game not translating to an NFL-style offense, to which I'd say, "Sir, you are running the wrong type of offense."
In the end, I'd pick Mariota over Winston not because I see the former as a superior player to the latter, but because I'd rather see my team succeed with Mariota over Winston. And that is why I'm much more likely to sleep on a beach than be an NFL GM.