TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jameis Winston met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hoping to make a good impression on the team considering taking the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback with the first pick in the NFL draft.
The Bucs confirmed the former Florida State star was in town Tuesday to sit down with club officials who will be involved in deciding whether to draft Winston. Another quarterback option being considered by the Bucs is Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman winner from Oregon.
Winston nor club officials spoke to the media. However following the daylong visit, the team’s website posted a video of the 21-year-old answering questions inside One Buc Place.
“I just want them to know I am human and I’m a great person, and this smile isn’t fake,” Winston said.
“I just want to show them I can be the face of this franchise one day,” the quarterback added, “and actions speak louder than words.”
While it’s not unusual to conduct predraft interviews at club facilities, it’s rare to bring in a potential pick nearly two months in advance.
The Bucs have the top pick for the first time since 1987. Upgrading at quarterback is a priority after going 2-14 last season and missing the playoffs for the seventh straight year.
Winston won the Heisman Trophy and led Florida State to a national championship as red-shirt freshman in 2013. He also made headlines off the field, including an allegation of sexual assault that did result in any criminal charges.
“It’s not really important for me to be the first pick, but it is important to me to be picked,” Winston said, adding that he was blessed during his “years at Florida State to win the national championship and just be a winning quarterback.
“I would love to be (drafted) here.”
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