Jameis Winston has been the consensus number one pick for months, now -- Marcus Mariota has been an afterthought in the public discussion, at best. Oddly enough, now it appears that momentum for Marcus Mariota is building again -- at least a little. Not to the extent that I'd say he's even got a good chance of being the pick, but it seems that we can no longer completely discount him. Jason Cole noted yesterday that Mariota could still be the pick, while Mike Mayock moved Mariota up to the number one spot in his position rankings.
And now Yahoo!'s Charles Robinson reports that one unexpected voice within One Buccaneer Place has raised some concerns about Jameis Winston.
First, general manager Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith won't have the final say on drafting Winston. The source said the selection won't happen without the approval of ownership. Second, the source said Darcie Glazer Kassewitz (the daughter of late owner Malcolm Glazer) is one of the voices in the Bucs' front office whose opinion could influence the pick.
The source did not say Kassewitz was against drafting Winston. Nor did the source say Mariota or any other player was preferred at No. 1. But the source said that Kassewitz - who is the co-president of the Glazer Family Foundation - has raised some internal questions about the community relations impact of the pick.
Glazer Kassewitz is rarely mentioned when it comes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but she's long been involved with the team's community relations as the co-president of the Glazer Family Foundation. The Bucs' official website describes her as having "worked tirelessly during her family's ownership of the team to ensure that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' value to the community extends well beyond the playing field."
And her concerns do make sense. For all of Winston's on-field prowess, his off-field issues are a lot more polarizing for the community. If the Bucs want someone who they can trust to spotlessly represent their franchise off the field, then Mariota would make more sense -- but the number one job for any NFL team is to simply win games.
Ultimately, this doesn't feel like a very strong movement for Mariota, and Winston is still easily the favorite to go number one overall. But the pick hasn't been made, and these reports do suggest that we can't entirely count out Mariota -- not yet, anyway.