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"Stars aligned" for Marcus Mariota to Buccaneers, says Chris Mortensen

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According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen the "stars are aligned" for Marcus Mariota to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first overall pick. Greg Auman notes that Mort talked about offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's ties to Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich, quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian's spread background and Tony Dungy repeatedly endorsing Mariota.

All of those connections are real, but they're still just a few pieces of the overall puzzle. Helfrich worked under Koetter for years, but the spread scheme he implemented at Oregon was one he only learned after Koetter moved to the NFL. There are still philosophical similarities, but the two don't run the same scheme -- and Koetter has repeatedly talked about adjusting his scheme to his player's strengths.

Similarly, while Bajakian certainly has an extensive spread history, he's still Koetter's and Lovie Smith's subordinate, noted that he was learning a scheme that was new for him and also has a bit of a history with more pro-style offenses. Certainly Bajakian leans more toward spread, but it's no definite connection.

And the same is true for Dungy, of course. He's worked with Lovie Smith for a long time, the two coaches share a lot of philosophies, but they're not identical either. It's a minor indication, and nothing more than that.

And similarly, we've seen some reports that the Bucs are leaning more towards Jameis Winston at this point. Those reports are just pieces of the puzzle, too: anonymously-sourced leaks that could be accurate, or smokescreens thrown up by those employees -- and all of that happened before the coaches really got involved in the evaluation, something that's only starting now.

At this point we have three more months to the draft. We're all guessing.