A regime's tenure is judged by how well they draft with the general manager and head coach taking the blame or credit for it. For Tampa Bay's Jason Licht and Lovie Smith, the April 30th draft is big.
The Buccaneers have the opportunity of selecting a franchise quarterback with the first overall pick. Licht understands how important that is.
“It’s huge," Licht said. "Personally, I think it’s probably the biggest draft in the history of the organization. We have a real chance to put us over the top and get us there. At least, get us to a level that we think we’re going to be at this year, which is competing for championships. It’s a great draft. It’s a great draft to have the number one pick, too.”
The consensus is that the Bucs will be selecting Florida State's Jameis Winston. However, some feel it could be Oregon's Marcus Mariota. While there are reasons to believe it'll be the former, the Bucs are staying quiet on their selection while ignoring the opinions of those outside of One Buc Place.
“We go with our own opinion," Smith said. "I’m getting information from you right now what everyone thinks we should do. We don’t get into an awful lot – we have a group inside our building, their opinion really matters. The first third-and-one, we’re not going to start calling people on what we should do. Again, we trust our building. But that says a lot about some of the athletes coming out. You mentioned two quarterbacks. Both quarterbacks are excellent players and both are going to have a lot of success in the league, so there should be different opinions."
The draft that is just nine days away could be the most important draft this regime will ever have. They have to hit on not just the No.1 pick, but hit on the rest of their selections as they pick at the top of nearly every round.
Licht knows that. Smith knows that. Their opinions, which leads them to their selections, will be how people define the rest of both Licht's and Smith's careers.
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