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Expert opinion on Bucs' draft decision: Jerry Angelo

3/24/2015

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jerry Angelo, who was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' director of personnel from 1987 through 2000, said he's glad he's not in that role these days.

Angelo said the Bucs face an extremely difficult decision on what to do with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. He said Tuesday it's a "coin flip" between Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

"They're both good," said Angelo, who went on to work as the general manager of the Chicago Bears from 2001-11. "It's what flavor you like."

Angelo said Winston has the edge when it comes to on-field performance.

"Winston has everything you look for," Angelo said. "He reminds me of a Ben Roethlisberger. He's big and strong and can extend a play. He has good mobility. He can make plays with his feet. He's big, athletic and accurate. That's his best trait, his accuracy. And the fact he's played in a pro-style offense certainly helps."

Mariota, who ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.52 seconds) among quarterbacks at the combine, didn't have the luxury of playing in a pro-style offense. He played in a spread system in college.

"You can't minimize the intangibles with Mariota," Angelo said. "Intangibles are about 60 percent of it -- and he has great intangibles. My concern with him is the system he's played in and his accuracy within the pocket. I weigh that very heavily. With what you've seen in college, you don't know for sure and it's tough to come away with any confidence. Could he be like [Kansas City's] Alex Smith is now? Yes, he could be. But you don't know anything for sure because you haven't seen him in a pro-style system."

Angelo said the Bucs have to factor in more than on-field talent when making their decision. Winston has had a series of off-field incidents, including an allegation of sexual assault, although he was not charged with a crime.

"You have to do your homework very thoroughly," Angelo said. "But you're still taking a flier. The quarterback is the face of the franchise. The Bucs can't afford any more bad publicity. It's not just about the talent. The talent is obvious. But you have to bring character [into the equation] and the potential damage you could do to the franchise. That's an issue for ownership. If you take the character out of it, Winston is the pick. But you can't take the character out of it because that's a very important thing."