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Tampa Bay will select first overall in NFL draft

Tampa Bay will select first overall in NFL draft
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota might be trading in Oregon's garish uniforms for the red and pewter of Tampa Bay. (Chris Pietsch / Associated Press)

Paging Marcus Mariota. . . .

With their 23-20 loss to New Orleans on Sunday, the 2-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers secured the No. 1 pick in this spring’s NFL draft.

A top candidate for that spot is Mariota, the Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner. Tampa Bay has all sorts of needs, but a quarterback and a pass rusher are most pressing.

The Buccaneers last had the top pick in 1987 and took Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde.

Tennessee, which lost to Indianapolis to finish 2-14, will draft second.

The New York Jets, Jacksonville and Oakland came into Sunday’s games at 3-12, but could not have vaulted into one of the top two spots -- even if Tampa Bay and Tennessee had won -- because of superior strength of schedule.

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