South Notes: Bucs, Winston, Saints, Colts

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is expected to selected first overall by Tampa Bay on Thursday night, and the Buccaneers have certainly done their research on the 2013 Heisman winner. General manager Jason Licht tells Joey Johnston and Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune that his club spoke with more than 75 people in an attempt to properly vet Winston. Curiously, the Bucs did not speak with the woman who accused Winston of sexual assault in 2013, but they did talk to a member of the Tallahassee State Attorney’s Office, which declined to press charges against Winston.

Here’s more from the NFL’s South divisions…

  • Of the 18 prospects who are known to have visited the Saints, 12 are defensive players, which could be an indication of which direction New Orleans is leaning with its two first-round picks, writes Evan Woodbery of Of course, as Woodbery adds, each club is allotted 30 predraft visits, so there up to 12 Saints player meetings that the public isn’t aware of.
  • Speaking of the Saints, Mike Triplett of doesn’t think the club will take a risk on players with off-the-field trouble, such as edge rusher Randy Gregory or receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.
  • The Colts will likely have to trade up if they want a chance at a player like Alabama safety Landon Collins, according to Mike Wells of Indianapolis owns nine picks, so they could have the draft capital to make such a move.
  • Although a poor draft (and a similarly underwhelming 2015 season) would probably threaten the job of Titans GM Ruston Webster more than head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Paul Kuharsky of thinks both could be in jeopardy if Tennessee struggles this year.
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