After having little success with the likes of Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon, and Josh McCown as starting quarterback, the Bucs got themselves a potential franchise quarterback in Winston, who had unfortunately made more news for his off-field antics than his on-field brilliance during his time with the Seminoles. Still, Winston said in an interview that he wants to “gain everyone’s trust” now that he’s finally in the NFL.
“I’ve got to work,” said Winston, referring to his off-field troubles as a college quarterback and how he plans to clean up his act in the NFL. “Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have heard. It’s about your actions. Whatever is in the past is in the past. I look forward to gaining everyone’s trust.”
Tampa Bay also took a good look at Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, another potential star quarterback, but ultimately went with Winston as he has experience playing in a pro-style offense. Mariota, on the other hand, won the Heisman Trophy as a spread offense quarterback; he was eventually chosen second overall by the Tennessee Titans.
Other first round picks of note included Dante Fowler at third (defensive end, Jacksonville), Amari Cooper at fourth (wide receiver, Oakland), Brandon Scherff at fifth (offensive lineman, Washington), and Leonard Williams at sixth (defensive lineman, NY Jets). Todd Gurley also became the first running back chosen in the first round in three years when the St. Louis Rams picked him tenth overall.