Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune is joining the chorus of local beat writers who think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will draft Jameis Winston with the number one overall pick. Kaufman said as much on PFT Live today.
"I see Winston in a Bucs uniform," Kaufman said. "Yes, there will be protests . . . but I think in terms of pro potential, I think most people would tell you Winston is ahead of [Marcus] Mariota."
The local beat writers were generally closer to the truth last year, as most of them were skeptical of the Manziel-to-Tampa rumors that kept cropping up, and they've been fairly consistent in saying they think Winston will go to the Bucs.
One other likelihood floated by Kaufman was that, to mitigate Winston's off-field issues, Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks will step him and mentor him. Brooks has endorsed Winston himself, and is of course close to both the Bucs and Florida State, so that would make sense.
This isn't the first time that possibility has been floated, and Brooks has been around the Bucs since his retirement anyway so this isn't exactly shocking. In fact, I'd expect him to act as a mentor of sorts to Marcus Mariota if the Bucs decide to go that way, too. He's the resident face-of-the-franchise expert that can help whoever the Bucs draft adjust to their new role as face-of-the-franchise.