Heisman winners Winston, Mariota go 1-2 in draft
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Jameis Winston was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first pick of the National Football League Draft on Thursday and was followed by fellow quarterback Marcus Mariota in a Heisman 1-2.
Winston won the 2013 Heisman Trophy as top U.S. collegiate player, and Mariota, taken by the Tennessee Titans with the second pick, was the 2014 winner, marking the first time Heisman recipients went 1-2 in the NFL Draft.
The draft itself also struck an historic note as it was staged in Chicago's Auditorium Theater, shifting the proceedings away from New York City for the first time since 1964.
The 21-year-old Winston, who became the youngest winner of the coveted college award at 19, one month before leading Florida State to a national championship, was the consensus top choice.
Winston, who joins a Bucs team that selected first by dint of a league-worst 2-14 record, was widely seen as the most pro-ready quarterback available after thriving in a pro-style offense at Florida State.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound, strong-armed Winston has all the tools for NFL success and the Bucs showed their confidence in him by overlooking a list of off-field incidents, including a sexual assault allegation and a shoplifting citation, as Tampa Bay background checks convinced them he could be counted on.
Winston skipped the draft proceedings to watch on television back home in Bessemer, Alabama, with family and friends and donned a red Tampa Bay cap in honor of his new team.
Tennessee followed by grabbing University of Oregon's Mariota, who watched from even farther away, in Honolulu.
Mariota, a mobile quarterback who ran a college-style spread offense, led Oregon to 36 wins in three seasons and steered the team to January's national championship game. Continued...