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Buccaneers reportedly prefer Jameis Winston to Marcus Mariota

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

According to Charlie Campbell of Walter Football, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently prefer Jameis Winston to Marcus Mariota.

Sources say it is early in the process, and things could change in the months to come. Coaches getting involved in draft evaluations can make a big difference in a team's thinking. However, our sources don't view that as likely. They say that as long as Winston interviews well and doesn't get into trouble in the months leading up to the draft, they feel that he will be the top pick in the draft.

Campbell used to work for Pewter Report and certainly has some league contacts and probably some Bucs contacts, still, so this is not someone without any credibility. It also fits what Gil Arcia of The Bay Cave has been saying over the past few months.

But this highlights another problem: it's far too early in the process to make any definite statements. What's more, we're entering the stage where team employees will simply lie about their team's interest in players. Smokescreens, deception and other nonsense are going to be par for the course over the next months, so every bit of information has to be weighed critically.

That doesn't mean this report isn't real. It doesn't even mean it's not accurate. But, as with every other report over the coming months, we'll just have to treat it for what it is: just one piece of information.