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Marcus Mariota will work out for Tampa Bay on Tuesday

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to do their due diligence on the top quarterbacks in the draft.

While the Bucs -- who own the top pick in the draft -- have been linked with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, they sent a large contingent to Eugene, Ore., Tuesday to put Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota through a private workout.

Tuesday is the start of a busy two-day period for the Bucs: NFL Media reporter Ian Rapoport reports the Bucs will have a private workout with Winston on Wednesday.

As for the trip to Oregon, the team's official Twitter account posted two pictures Tuesday morning.

The second picture has offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to the right of coach Lovie Smith.

It is going to be a busy day for the Bucs' officials, for sure, which begs the question, "Hey, why not fly out to the West Coast on Monday?" But we digress.

As everyone knows by now, Winston is considered far more NFL-ready than Mariota. While Winston ran a pro-style attack at FSU, Mariota was at the controls of a spread offense at Oregon -- one in which he didn't take snaps from under center, didn't huddle and didn't call audibles. Indeed, at February's NFL Scouting Combine, Mariota said learning to take snaps from under center was "something I've been able to work on for the last month" and described it as an "ongoing process."

The flipside: There are no character issues with Mariota as there are with Winston. Seemingly no one -- even Oregon rivals -- dislikes Mariota.

Winston conceivably would start from Day One, and that might not necessarily be the case for Mariota. Given that the Bucs are coming off a 2-14 season, it's reasonable to assume a big part of their decision will come down to which quarterback can play first. That's why Mariota's workout performance figures to be extremely important to the Bucs' brain trust.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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