NFL Wire News

2015 NFL Draft: Bucs pick Winston at No. 1


The Sports Xchange

CHICAGO — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on Thursday at Auditorium Theater.

Winston posted a 26-1 record in two seasons at Florida State and won the Heisman Trophy in 2013 while guiding the undefeated Seminoles (14-0) to the national championship. After a two-year drought, a quarterback was drafted No. 1 for the 10th time since 2000.

The Buccaneers were 2-14 in 2014 in head coach Lovie Smith’s first season, struggling to produce points with a faulty offensive line and erratic quarterback play. While Winston comes to the NFL with one loss in his 27 college starts, Tampa has 27 total wins in the past five seasons.

Winston’s off-field issues were in boldface type on his scouting report and led the Buccaneers to conduct more than 75 interviews with friends, acquaintances and coaches. General manager Jason Licht said the Buccaneers came away “very comfortable” with what they learned vetting the top-pick candidates.

The NFL’s rookie slotting system calls for the top overall pick to receive a four-year, $24 million deal with a fifth-year team option. Smith said in February that even if the team drafted Winston No. 1, holdover Mike Glennon would compete for the starting job.

NOTES: Florida State QB Jameis Winston was the first No. 1 overall pick not to attend the draft since Ohio State DT Dan Wilkinson (Bengals, 1994). Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and Alabama WR Amari Cooper also did not attend Thursday. … Thirteen No. 1 overall picks eventually entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The most recent top pick to earn a gold jacket was Troy Aikman, the first pick in 1989.

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