The top of the 2015 NFL Draft board might clear up a lot sooner rather than later. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is headed to Tampa for a visit that will include meetings with ownership. It is being described as a "character" visit. He has had some off-the-field issues in college, so this is not exactly a shocking revelation.
What is notable is that it would seem to mean the Bucs are going to end up drafting Winston next month. It is possible they decide to go in another direction, but the longer the lasts, the more likely it seems. Here are just a few recent articles over at Bucs Nation discussing some of the rumors
- Bucs beat writer thinks Winston will be the pick
- Lovie Smith prefers Winston over Mariota
- Jason Cole reports Bucs leaning Winston
There was some chatter about the Philadelphia Eagles looking to move up to the top of the draft to grad Mariota, but the odds of such a big leap seem fairly slim. At this point, it seems like it would be an upset if the Bucs did not retain the No. 1 pick, and select Winston.
The San Francisco 49ers hold the 15th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. In recent years, the 49ers were drafting in the final few picks thanks to strong seasons. It made for more difficult assessment of draft options, but I think we all would trade for that every single year!
This year, the 49ers are right in the middle of the draft, with 14 teams ahead of them. Any final prediction of the first round is going to be based as much on luck as anything, but we can at least try and educate ourselves about those first 14 picks. This developing Winston story potentially removes one pick from the discussion, leaving us 13 to go! There is a lot of time left between now and late April, so we certainly will not set this in stone.
The Tennessee Titans hold the second pick of the draft. Last year, they drafted used a sixth round pick on quarterback Zach Mettenberger. This year, they are expected to let Jake Locker walk in free agency. I think we see Mettenberger get a chance, and while QB could become a need once again, we won't see them draft a quarterback with that second overall pick. Leonard Williams seems like the logical pick, as they could stick him on their defensive line and build from there.
The real question is who makes the move down to help somebody else get Marcus Mariota? The Titans, Jaguars and Raiders are all highly unlikely to draft a quarterback. Washington has Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins, and while it is a mess out there, I just don't see quarterback happening. That leaves the Jets as the next potential team to grab a quarterback. They have Geno Smith, but chatter has them looking at Mariota. Could a team like the Eagles try and climb up ahead of them, and if so, which team pulls the trigger to move down? It should make for a fascinating first hour of the draft.