Tony Dungy has been pretty vocal about preferring Marcus Mariota, and he talked to JoeBucsFan yesterday to reaffirm and clarify that, comparing Mariota in the process.
"It doesn't mean I don't like Jameis at all," Dungy said. "I haven't seen Jameis play as much as I've seen Marcus. I've seen Marcus play. I've seen him practice. I've been around him as a person. I believe in him. And he does remind me a lot of Aaron Rodgers coming out of college. You know, Aaron Rodgers didn't play for three of four years in Green Bay, and now he's arguably the best quarterback in football.
"But I think Marcus has a lot of the same skill set. He has the same drive and determination. I just really think the world of him as a person. I just think he's special. If I watched Jameis as much, and knew as much about him, I'd probably have a similar opinion but I just think Marcus is going to be sensational in the NFL.
Tony Dungy had a son playing at Oregon, so he had plenty of time to watch Mariota. But the Rodgers comparison is a little over the top, I'd say. Mariota doesn't have Rodgers' arm strength, nor has he displayed Rodgers' feel for the NFL game. Of course, Rodgers didn't quite have those traits in college to the extent he has them biw,
Mariota could develop into Rodgers down the road, but that's a pretty big if and a long way away. And a Rodgers who was as he came out of college fell all the way to number 24 in the draft -- with the Bucs passing on him to take Cadillac Williams instead.