Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) – Jameis Winston watched from a friend’s home
in Alabama as he heard his name called in Chicago.
Marcus Mariota looked on thousands of miles away from Hawaii as his name was
announced 10 minutes later.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Winston, the talented-but-controversial
Florida State quarterback, with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft on
The Tennessee Titans then took Mariota, the Heisman Trophy-winning Oregon
quarterback, with the No. 2 selection.
In a black suit, white shirt and yellow tie, Winston, also a Heisman winner,
was the first No. 1 pick not to attend the draft since Dan Wilkinson in 1994.
He was the first Florida State player ever taken in the top spot.
“It’s a surreal moment,” Winston said in an interview on the Buccaneers’
website. “I’m going to come in and work hard day in and day out, be a great
teammate, compete and try to earn everyone’s trust.”
The draft is being held in Chicago, the first time in 50 years that it’s not
in New York.
Mariota, decked out in a black Hawaiian shirt and a stack of leis around his
neck, will get an early crack at Winston in 2015.
The past two Heisman Trophy winners might not have been in the Second City,
but both will be on the same field come Week 1 when the Titans and Bucs meet
It’s the sixth time since the Super Bowl era and the first since 2012 that
quarterbacks were taken with the first two selections in the NFL Draft.
Andrew Luck was the top pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 before the
Washington Redskins traded up to No. 2 and took Robert Griffin III.
The first trade of the draft wasn’t the one many were expecting.
The San Diego Chargers traded their fourth-round pick and 2016 fifth-rounder
to move up two spots from the 17th selection to No. 15.
San Diego used that pick to select running back Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin.
Gordon was the second running back selected in the first round, taken five
spots after Todd Gurley of Georgia was picked by the St. Louis Rams at No. 10.
No running back had been taken in the opening round the last two years, the
first time in NFL history that’s happened.
The storyline coming into the draft was which team was going to trade up to
No. 2 in the Titans’ spot and take Mariota, but obviously the Titans
Mariota’s former Oregon coach and current headman in Philadelphia Chip Kelly
was rumored to be in the mix, but Kelly stated that trade talks “really didn’t
get serious” and what Tennessee wanted was a “steep price.”
Linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. of Florida was taken No. 3 by the Jacksonville
Jaguars, wide receiver Amari Cooper of Alabama went fourth to the Oakland
Raiders and the Washington Redskins selected Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff with
the fifth pick.
USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who many regarded as the top defensive
player in the 2015 class, fell to the New York Jets at No. 6. The Jets already
have a pair of dominant 3-4 defensive ends in Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon
Richardson, but decided to go with talent over need.
The Chicago Bears replaced Brandon Marshall with West Virginia wide receiver
Kevin White at No. 7, and the Atlanta Falcons improved their lackluster pass
rush by taking Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley at No. 8. Miami tackle Ereck
Flowers went to the New York Giants at No. 9 and the Gurley pick rounded out
the top 10.
Missouri defensive end Shane Ray was considered by many to be a potential
top-10 pick before being issued a citation Monday for marijuana possession.
The Denver Broncos took a chance on his character by trading up from the 28th
pick to the 23rd to obtain him.
The Minnesota Vikings have a cornerback to pair with Xavier Rhodes as they
took Trae Waynes out of Michigan State at No. 11. The Cleveland Browns
selected Washington’s massive defensive tackle Danny Shelton to help solidify
a woeful run defense that ranked last in 2014.
Tackle Andrus Peat of Stanford went 13th to the New Orleans Saints, and the
Miami Dolphins replaced Mike Wallace with Louisville’s DeVante Parker at No.
Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson was taken with the 16th pick by the
Houston Texans, and the 49ers used their No. 17 pick on Oregon defensive end
Arik Armstead. Press cornerback Marcus Peters of Washington went 18th to the
Kansas City Chiefs, the Browns used their second first-round pick to obtain
center Cameron Erving of Florida State, and the Eagles rounded out the top 20
by picking USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi with the 21st
pick despite him coming off reconstructive knee surgery, and Kentucky outside
linebacker Bud Dupree went to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 22.
Tackle D.J. Humphries of Florida went 24th to the Arizona Cardinals,
linebacker Shaq Thompson of Washington 25th to the Carolina Panthers, Central
Florida wide receiver Breshad Perriman 26th to the Baltimore Ravens,
Connecticut cornerback Byron Jones 27th to the Dallas Cowboys, Duke guard
Laken Tomlinson 28th to the Detroit Lions, Miami-Florida wide receiver Phillip
Dorsett 29th to the Indianapolis Colts, Arizona State safety Damarious Randall
30th to the Green Bay Packers, Clemson inside linebacker Stephone Anthony to
the Saints and defensive tackle Malcom Brown was the final first-round pick at
No. 32 for the Super-Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Detroit’s 28th pick was originally Denver’s pick, while the Saints executed a
swap with the Seattle Seahawks at No. 31 to take Anthony.