The first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is complete, and with the first pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose 2013 Heisman Trophy QB, Jameis Winston.
The 21-year-old Seminoles star hopes to “gain everyone’s trust,” despite his checkered past, after the Bucs drafted him to be their franchise quarterback.
“I’ve got to work,” Winston said Thursday night. “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.”
Winston was accused of sexual assault during his freshman season at Florida State, but was never charged. It was just one of a number of off-field incidents that critics questioned.
“I have been cleared six times,” he said of the sexual assault claim. “I’ve been cleared six times on that situation. So I took that situation so seriously. But, at the end of the day, I’ve got to keep moving forward. That’s why I’m so thankful right now. I continue to thank the Glazers, continue to thank Mr. Licht and continue to thank coach Smith for believing in me.”
Following Winston, the Tennessee Titans picked up Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, a 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, 2015 Rose Bowl Winner and Offensive MVP. He led the the Ducks to the National Championship, but lost to Ohio State.
The Titans needed a quarterback. Since Steve McNair left in 2005, they used first-round selections on both Vince Young (No. 3 overall, 2006) and Jake Locker (No. 8, 2011), but neither panned out and both have since retired.
Jacksonville picked up defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (Florida) with the third pick, the Oakland Raiders picked up touted Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper with the fourth pick, and OT Brandon Scherff (Iowa) was drafted by the Redskins with the fifth overall pick.
Dynamic Alabama wideout Amari Cooper goes to a Raiders team, who are in desperate need of a receiving threat for second year quarterback Derek Carr, after failing to get prized free agents Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin this offseason.
Cooper is considered one of the most complete receivers to come out of college in recent years, and is expected to become Carr’s top option for the Raiders this upcoming season. “For a guy who hasn’t played in the NFL, it’s unusual when words like ‘polished’ are thrown out but that’s what you see,” new Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said.