For awhile it seems like things have been trending towards the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking a quarterback with the first overall pick and now it seems that they are likely to make Jameis Winston their franchise quarterback come draft day.
Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith made some comments recently that seem to confirm that the Bucs would be comfortable with taking Winston first overall despite off the field concerns at Florida State.
Lovie: I understand Jameis went through justice system, that he did some college things. But right now w info we have on him hes on our list
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) February 18, 2015
Lovie Smith: "If a player has been accused of something, and he has been exonerated, I think you go by that…"
— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) February 18, 2015
GM Licht on Winston:“He’s a football junkie. He likes being around the office and I don’t think you have to worry as much as people think.’
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 18, 2015
If you take off the field concerns out of the equation, then I doubt there is much more to discuss aside from simply letting the draft process take its course. There seems to be plenty of more buzz around Winston and the Buccaneers at this stage in the game, but we shouldn’t completely rule out Mariota possibly going first overall until the draft card has been handed in.