Buccaneers get their man, tab FSU QB Jameis Winston with #1 pick in 2015 NFL draft

May 1st, 2015 by Staff

Licht (left) and Smith are hoping the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner can turn around the team's fortunes.

(BTLS Staff) TAMPA, Fla. – There were no surprises when National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the podium in Chicago Thursday night to announce the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’20150430_BucsDraftRoom_BRoll first pick in the 2015 draft.

The team selected Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston with the first overall selection. The signal-caller went 26-1 as a starter at FSU and was the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner as the Noles went undefeated and won the National Championship.

Bucs General Manager Jason Licht is hopeful Winston can help the Buccaneers rebound from a disappointing 2-14 2014 season.

“Any time you get an opportunity to get a franchise quarterback, that we believe and are very confident is a franchise quarterback, it excites you,” explained Licht. “He’s a champion, he’s a leader, he’s a winner, he’s got tremendous football character and tremendous intelligence and work ethic.”

Winston is the fifth player ever selected by Tampa Bay with the #1 overall selection joining Vinny Testaverde (1987), Bo Jackson (1986), Ricky Bell (1977) and Lee Roy Selmon (1976).

Jackson never played for the team and Selmon was the Bucs first-ever Hall of Famer.

The FSU product joins Josh Freeman (17th overall in 2009), Trent Dilfer (6th overall in 1994), Testaverde and Doug Williams (17th overall in 1978) as the fifth QB the Bucs have picked in the first round of the annual player’s draft.

He is also one of three former Noles picked by Tampa Bay in the first round. The other two were running back Warrick Dunn (17th overall in 1997) and Hall-of-Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks (28th overall in 1995). FSU is tied with Alabama and Oklahoma for the Bucs lead in schools with the most top selections.

Winston, who stands 6’4” tall and weighs 230 pounds, started 27 career games at Florida State, completing 562-of-841 passes (66.8 pct.) for 7,964 yards, with 65 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.

He also rushed 145 times for 284 yards and seven touchdowns. The Bessemer, Alabama native won his first 26 starts, an NCAA Division I record, leading Florida State to a national championship in 2013 and the first-ever College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl in 2014.

In 2013, he took home a plethora of post-season hardware. In addition to the Heisman, Winston also won the Davey O’Brien Award, The Walter Camp Award and the Manning Award.

He was the youngest player at 20 years of age to win the Heisman Trophy.

The draft continues Friday with rounds 2-3 and concludes on Saturday with rounds 4 through 7. Tampa Bay owns the second pick of the second round.

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