Peter King interviewed two Hall of Fame general managers to get their opinions on who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should draft with the number one pick: Marcus Mariota, or Jameis Winston. And a little surprisingly, the two legends were split on who they'd take. Ron Wolf was partial to Winston, while Bill Polian preferred Mariota.
Wolf is most famous for being the Green Bay Packers' general manager from 1991 through 2000, signing Reggie White and trading for Brett Favre, winning a Super Bowl in the process. He also was the Bucs' first general manager, operating as the team's vice-president of operations before taking the fall for the inevitably horrid first two years as an expansion team.
You'll know Polian from his days in Indianapolis, winning a Super Bowl after drafting Peyton Manning, but he had a lot of success as the Carolina Panthers' first general manager, while he also oversaw the Buffalo Bills era of success in the late 1980s and early '90s.
Both general managers noted that there was more they'd need to know about each player to make a real judgment, with Wolf having done much less work on Mariota, while Polian acknowledged he needed to know more about the"mental makeup and off-the-field-behavior" of both quarterbacks.
Wolf notes that Winston "has everything you'd want in a quarterback" and he'd "take him in a heartbeat." Wolf compared Winston to a Hall of Fame quarterback he drafted in Brett Favre -- also a player who wasn't exactly clean off the field.
"You have to have a conviction in that job, as general manager," Wolf said. "I had one about Favre. I thought he was the best player in the draft the previous year, so one year later, what am I going to do if I can get him for our first-round pick?"
Meanwhile, Polian claimed that he'd still lean toward Mariota even if Winston's psychological report was clean
"It's closer than Manning-Leaf was," Polian said. "Way closer. More like Collins-McNair in '95. With Mariota, I don't think playing from the pocket will be an issue; he did a lot of that in the eight or nine games I saw. And he didn't throw 18 interceptions either. On 14 of those 18 interceptions, Winston didn't see linebackers underneath or he zeroed in on the receiver regardless of coverage."
Neither general manager is in position to actually make the pick, though. Their thoughts are interesting and worth listening to, but they ultimately say very little about what the Bucs will do. And it still looks like they'll take Jameis Winston number one overall.