Every NFL draft prospect would like to be the first hand commissioner Roger Goodell shakes to begin the first round, but they aren't all consumed by the pursuit. On Monday, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariotavisited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, but shrugged off the notion that being the top pick holds any real importance.
"You know, being the first pick to me, it's not a huge thing," Mariota said Monday, according to buccaneers.com. "I would love to play for the Bucs. But that being said, I think if you find the team that wants you, that's going to be the right team."
That's the football equivalent of saying the marriage is more important than the wedding.
And while it's a practical and measured perspective on the bigger picture -- a successful and lengthy pro career -- it's somewhat in contrast to quarterback Jameis Winston's thoughts on the matter. Asked about the possibility of being the Bucs' top pick at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Tampa Bay's other primary option at quarterback for the top pick said: "It's important because I know how hard I've worked and it would be a privilege to get accepted by the Glazer family in Tampa."
Mariota said he expected his visit to Tampa Bay to be an opportunity to show his football accumen to club executives. Mariota's mental and physical adjustments to a pro-style offense, having played in a shotgun spread attack at Oregon, are the primary scouting concerns about the Heisman Trophy winner.