Heisman winner Jameis Winston, no stranger to controversy, is the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected the former Florida State quarterback tonight, making him the face of a franchise that missed the playoffs the past seven seasons and hasn't won a postseason game since the club's Super Bowl run in 2002. Coach Lovie Smith and GM Jason Licht made the call, concluding after months of interviews and exhaustive research that Winston not only can be the answer to the team's offensive woes, but that the 21-year-old has learned from off-the-field mistakes that threatened to undermine his stock in the draft.
In the highest-profile incident, a former Florida State student said Winston sexually assaulted her, though he said the sex was consensual. He was never charged or arrested. Smith and Licht said repeatedly over the past two months that they were comfortable with the prospect of taking Winston, who also generated negative headlines for shoplifting crab legs from a supermarket. Last season he was suspended for one game after climbing onto a table in the FSU student union and shouting an obscenity. Winston was not in Chicago for the NFL draft; he was in his hometown of Bessemer, Ala., with family and friends.