The last couple of days we've seen several reports that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take Marcus Mariota over Jameis Winston with the number one overall pick, one from Ron Jaworski, and another from Joe Bussell. But ESPN's Adam Schefter maintains that Jameis Winston will be the number one pick unless something changes, a view shared by every local beat writer I know.
"That is the feeling around the league, that you can book Jameis Winston to the Buccaneers short of something happening here in the next two-and-a-half weeks, which you never know with the draft process," Schefer said. "Now Ron Jaworski, our ESPN analyst said that he believes Marcus Mariota is going to Tampa, but the more people you speak to, that's a surprise. And if it went down that way that would be a huge surprise.
"And I think right now, today, and it hasn't changed really since the combine, Jameis Winston is expected to be the number one overall. Now again he's in Tennessee today, he's visiting the Titans, they worked him out, the Buccaneers did last week. They spent a lot of time digging through his background. To date, they haven't discovered anything that would dissuade them from making him the number one pick."
After a few months of strong consensus that Jameis Winston will be the pick, we're now back in conflicting reports mode. Good fun. We'll have to wait and see what happens -- but at this point it seems like the Bucs are intent on waiting until the last moment to officially make their pick -- perhaps to not be blind-sided by potential new developments.
There's one more reason to believe that no definitive decision has been made yet: both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are still visiting other teams. If either player had been told he'd be the pick, there would be no reason for them to do so. But that's a weak indicator, really, and both teams and players could simply be doing their due diligence -- or be unwilling to blow the Bucs' cover of indecision.