The Buccaneers have selected Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the first overall pick. The 2013 Heisman winner has long been cemented as Tampa Bay’s probable choice with the top selection, with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota also having generated consideration.
Winston emerged as a national name during the 2013 season, during which he passed for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns en route to leading the Seminoles to the National Championship. During his redshirt sophomore season in 2014, Winton took a bit of step back, throwing for just 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. However, he did take FSU to the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, and finished his career with a 26-1 record.
Of course, Winston has been involved in his share of off-the-field trouble, including a sexual assault allegation and shoplifting incidents. Some in the Bucs’ ownership group were reportedly uncomfortable with tabbing Winston as the club’s face of the franchise, but he apparently alleviated many of those concerns through the predraft process.
Winston is the clearly the biggest piece of Tampa’s offseason rebuild, following the club’s signing of free agents Henry Melton, Chris Conte, and Bruce Carter, and acquisition of George Johnson. Winston will immediately slot in as the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback, ahead of 2013 draftee Mike Glennon.