Bucs owners comfortable with Winston or Mariota at No. 1

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is seemingly the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2015 NFL Draft, but draft day is still a little over a month away.



Until then, there are still plenty of fans clamoring for the team to take fellow Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota with the first pick and build around him, given the numerous off-the-field issues that followed Winston during his time with the Seminoles.

If you ask the family that owns the Buccaneers, however, it feels pretty comfortable with either college star becoming the face of the franchise.

"With anybody we're looking to draft, we do an extensive amount of work on their background, history and all that," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer told the Tampa Bay Times at the annual league meetings in Arizona on Tuesday, adding that his family has spent a lot of time with both Winston and Mariota. "After everything we've done and where we're at right now, we're comfortable where Jameis is at, we're comfortable with Marcus."

That's a big vote of confidence for both of the top-rated quarterbacks in the draft, and perhaps more so for Winston, given the controversial nature of his past. If the family that owns the Bucs is on board with the franchise drafting either of the two players, that means the choice will probably come down to whom general manager Jason Licht and head coach Lovie Smith favor.

"Absolutely, this is critical, one of the most important decisions we may make in a long time," Glazer added. "But fundamentally, we believe in letting Lovie and Jason do all their ground work, and their staffs, come to their conclusions, discuss it with us, talk about their reasoning and as long as it makes sense, we're supportive."

We can't be sure if Glazer was asked about the team's interest in USC's Leonard Williams, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top-ranked player in the draft, but based on his comments, it's not hard to see all the signs are pointing toward the Bucs grabbing a quarterback with the first pick in the draft.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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