It will be very difficult for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to land the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, which is likely where Teddy Bridgewater will be selected. And with Bridgewater out of the picture, Marcus Mariota was the next-in-line at the position and seen as a worthy number two QB in the draft.
Until today, when he announced he would return to Oregon for another season.
Per the Univ. of Oregon, Marcus Mariota will return to school next season and not enter the NFL Draft. He’ll be my No. 1 prospect for 2015
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) December 3, 2013
This means the Buccaneers won’t have the option of the dual-threat QB from Oregon in the first few picks of the draft, and must now turn their attention elsewhere if they decide to take a quarterback in the upcoming selection meeting.
Still in contention for first-round status in the draft are Fresno State’s Derek Carr, UCF’s Blake Bortles, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd.
But Mariota’s decision to return to school takes one option off the board, and makes all the other quarterbacks move up the rankings. This will impact the value the Buccaneers can get at the quarterback position next summer.
The Oregon quarterback’s decision also adds to the dynamic quarterback class in 2015, headlined by Jameis Winston of Florida State.
Stay tuned to the Pewter Plank all offseason for updates and analysis on the Buccaneers’ options in the draft.