Buccaneers Rewind: Draft Edition
By James Yarcho
We’re closing in on draft day, so let’s take a look back at a pivotal moment in Buccaneers’ draft history. Or so we hope…
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It was nearly one year ago, April 30, 2015 to be exact. The Buccaneers had been on the clock for nearly five months. There was constant speculation as to who the pick would be, criticism from people who didn’t want to see a player accused of sexual assault rewarded, and uneasiness from the fan base as to whether or not the Bucs would make the right decision. The draft kicked off, and Tampa Bay was on the clock…
It’s a decision that will either catapult the Bucs to the level of contender for years to come, or yet another draft blunder that will haunt the franchise for the rest of time. There is really no way to know until a few seasons have passed, but can a rookie quarterback really help this pathetic excuse for a football team?
Well, a season has passed and although we don’t have a definitive answer yet, it sure seems like the Bucs picked the right quarterback for the first time ever. Winston finished his inaugural season with the third most passing yards by a rookie in NFL history, and he did so missing Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins most of the season.
Winston is a game changers, there’s no doubt about it. More importantly, he immediately stepped up to be the leader. You can hear it in his voice before the games. You can see it on his face after plays. You can witness it as he’s on the sidelines talking to his receivers and offensive linemen. It’s there and was sorely needed. But what lies ahead for the first pick in the 2015 NFL draft?
Improvement, hopefully. As good as Jameis was, he can be better. He’s already put in the work to get in better shape and has acknowledged the need for he and Mike Evans to continue building a rapport. He wants them to be the top quarterback-wide receiver combo in the NFL and that is going to take a lot of work.
Next: Bucs Draft Profile: CB Artie Burns
For now, Bucs fans can continue to enjoy knowing the Bucs have no questions at quarterback heading into a season for the first time in what feels like forever. They can enjoy knowing this young nucleus will be together for many, many years and will grow together much like the Bucs teams of the mid-90’s grew into Super Bowl champions. And, they can enjoy some of Jameis Winston‘s best plays of his rookie year.