Former Bucs general manager and current NFL analyst Mark Dominik has already gone on record with his employer, ESPN, and PewterReport.com in saying that he thinks Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Florida State’s Jameis Winston will go first and second overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, and that Mariota would be his pick for Tampa Bay if he was still in charge of personnel.
“I firmly believe they are going to go 1-2 in the draft because they are both really deserving of going No. 1 overall,” Dominik said. “The guy who doesn’t go No. 1 is going to go No. 2. That’s the amount of talent they’ll bring to your football team. They will bring hope to your franchise.”
But that doesn’t mean that Dominik’s opinion on Winston couldn’t be changed if questions about his character were answered in a satisfactory manner. Dominik said that if his character checks out that Winston, who was 26-1 as a starter for the Seminoles, could become another Russell Wilson-type quarterback due to his ability to operate in the clutch. Winston is 7-0 in games decided by seven points or less, including the BCS National Championship Game in 2013, and close games are the norm in the NFL.
“With Winston, you have to dive more into his background and get comfortable with it,” Dominik said. “Winston has shown to be a guy that can win a lot of high-pressure games and bring them back and rally them, even if he struggles in the first half. Look at what happened with Russell Wilson [for Seattle in the NFC Conference Championship Game]. That’s a classic example of Winston being in that spot before with a bad first half, but comes back and wins the game.
“If you want to draw that comparison, that’s a great comparison. If you draft Winston you could end up with another Russell Wilson, and you’re pretty happy.”
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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