Buccaneers have favorite between Winston, Mariota


INDIANAPOLIS -- The Buccaneers will almost certainly take a quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and they already seem to have a favorite in mind.

Just don't ask them who it is.

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"It would be an insult to sit here after two rounds of draft meetings and watching every play of Lovie (Smith) and I, or Jon Robinson, our personnel director, Mike Biehl, our college scouting director, all of our scouts, to watch every play and say that, 'OK, we have two guys tied at the top,' " general manager Jason Licht said. "We have a favorite, but we want to let the process play out."

Licht's words were at least semi-refreshing on Wednesday, given the combine tradition of filling your media obligation with nonsensical filibusters. (Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about Triple-A baseball for roughly five minutes.)

Then again, maybe that is how poorly kept a secret this really is.

Despite Smith's assertion that Mike Glennon can be a franchise quarterback, it's clear that Tampa Bay is prepping to choose between Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. It will dominate the conversation for the next three months, and it will outline the next three years of football in Tampa.

Whom they prefer, though, is still a mystery. Then again, Licht is probably alright letting that slip, too. With only a handful of quarterback-needy teams, what will it matter?

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