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Buccaneers have doubts on Jameis Winston, will still take him

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Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to take Jameis Winston with the number one overall pick, but they're not as they make it seem, according to Bleacher Reports' Mike Freeman.

Now, I want to be clear: It remains likely that Tampa Bay takes Winston first overall in the draft. But according to several team officials familiar with the Buccaneers' thinking, they aren't nearly as sold on Winston as they're saying publicly. Part owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz—the daughter of late owner Malcolm Glazer—in particular is not sold and might never be.

One official from another team, who has been in contact with the Buccaneers about the possibility of trading picks, told me the Tampa Bay front office has gone from "gung-ho on Winston to we're going to hold our nose and take him."

This fits with Charles Robinson's report that Glazer Kassewitz was raising concerns internally, and Bob Glauber's report that the Buccaneers are willing to trade the number one overall pick, something general manager Jason Licht confirmed today -- although he also noted that they'd have to get an offer that would blow them away to actually do so.

All of this comes on the same day that Licht said the Bucs are comfortable with who they want to take, and confident in the work they've done to check out these players. And in another press conference today, head coach Lovie Smith claimed that the entire organization is in total agreement on who they'll pick.

The fact that this is coming from the ownership group rather than the front office could explain why Jason Licht and Lovie Smith could both say today that they're comfortable and confident in taking whichever player they plan to take. I wouldn't blow this off as a smokescreen -- with ten days to go until the draft, I don't see how leaking concerns to the media would benefit anyone, but it's certainly possible that these reports are overblown. As Freeman notes, "this is the time of year when everyone lies," regardless of the actual point to those lies.

None of this really affects who the Bucs are likely to take. Everything continues to point to Jameis Winston, and the Buccaneers have done a lot of work to figure out whether they really want him. But the idea that there's more dissent internally than the Bucs are letting on publicly seems pretty likely.