Tampa Bay Buccaneers secure 1st pick in 2015 NFL Draft, right to refuse Marcus Mariota


With their loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secure their spot for the 1st pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.  In doing so, they have the right to refuse or take Marcus Mariota, the quarterback from Oregon, as long as he does not decide to go back to school.  Mariota has his degree and it is expected he will go ahead and declare after the Ducks finish their run in the College Football Playoffs.

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There is a chance, though it seems unlikely, that the Bucs could opt to trade the pick or select another player, most notably quarterback Jameis Winston from Florida State, pending he declares.  Given the Bucs head coach, Lovie Smith, it seems incredibly unlikely and they will go ahead and make Mariota the pick.

The question that may be more interesting as far as the Buccaneers are concerned is what they will do with their offensive coordinator position, both for their team and for Mariota.  Jeff Tedford was released during the season, leaving the Bucs looking for a new guy and with Mariota, it could be a very attractive option.  Additionally, they have some talented weapons such as Vincent Jackson, breakout rookie star Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins at tight end.

The offense that Mariota ran at Oregon and the personnel the Bucs have do not necessarily go together, so how they will approach that bridge will be key in seeing how Mariota is able to do early in his career.  That personnel is potentially an argument for Winston, given the style of offense has run at Florida State, but given that he would be a redshirt sophomore and his off field concerns, it would be a huge upset to see them go in that direction.