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NFL Draft: Why I Believe Jameis Winston Should Be the Bucs' Number One Overall Pick

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JC De La Torre tells us why Jameis will make the Bucs Famous!

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

We here at Bucs Nation have taken some heat as being "Anti-Winston". Its understandable. It's no secret our captain of this ship, Sander, is as far from a Winston supporter as you can get. There are many others here who believe Marcus Mariota or another player (trade down) is preferable to drafting Jameis Winston as the first overall pick April 30th.

I am not among them.

As a Gator fan, it was pre-ordained that I hated Jameis.

I don't think I came around until after the Rose Bowl. I had my pre-conceived notions of him being an idiot because of his off-the-field stuff and that he was overrated. I was thrilled with the Gators taking him apart and his butt-fumble-esque moment in the Rose Bowl. Made memes of it. Teased Pewter Report reporter (and Seminole honk) Mark Cook repeatedly about it.

Then I read Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah, who said Winston had a better game than my guy Mariota. I was confused. What the heck were these guys talking about? Winston looked like crap. Mariota was a magician!

I re-read the articles. I understood why they were saying it. I went back and watched the Rose Bowl again and saw what they saw. Was it a fluke? I searched for game footage. All TV-feeds of course, we unfortunately can't get All-22 for college games. I found a great site Draft Breakdown and watched his games. Then I watched my boy Mariota. I came to the quick realization I was wrong about Winston.

He was the better QB. But his off-the-field scared the crap out of me. So I culled my FSU sources, folks tied to the program that would give me the straight scoop on whether this was a bad dude. It came back positive, Jameis was a great kid, dedicated athlete who loved football, was a fiery leader and a football savant who had been subject to a character assassination. My friends had no reason to lie to me, they had no stake in Jameis becoming a Bucs QB and of course, I have no pull in the Bucs' decision.

And thus, I became what is now being called a Winstonite. It was tough for this old Gator to admit that Winston was everything the Bucs wanted in a quarterback. It took a lot of soul searching but I got there.

I believe Jameis Winston is the QB we've been waiting for for decades. He's dedicated to football, a film room junkie, he's the leader this captain-less team has been missing since Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp left. He has a super arm with amazing accuracy and the ability to anticipate throws, fire into tight windows and throw guys open. He has Peyton-like ability to read defenses and is the prototypical pocket passer. The amazing thing - he has room for improvement and it will be the first time he doesn't have a second sport interfering with his football preparation. Imagine that, this kid is already this good - but with room for improvement.

I believe him when he says he's changed. I don't think there's been a QB that had to endure the endless off-the-field distractions he has and still managed to put his team on his back and win games. I think he learned he can't be just one of the guys anymore. He is the quarterback of an NFL team. He has to conduct himself as such.

Some see Ben Roethlisberger, Phillip Rivers or Tony Romo. I see Brett Favre. A fiery competitor but a fun loving guy who maybe never quite grew up (D**k pics at 40?), believed in himself , his arm and his teammates, raising them to new heights.

I know some worried about the interceptions. Matt Ryan threw 19 his senior season. He turned out okay. Further, I think it goes to my Brett Favre analogy. Jameis never wanted to give on a play. He also felt the pressure to perform and yes, sometimes he fired it in there when he shouldn't. That can be coached out of him...or maybe the Bucs don't want to. Maybe they're okay with him taking his shots, especially if 9 times out of 10 he was right.

Over the course of his career at FSU, Jameis threw an interception every 30.3 pass attempts. He threw a touchdown every 13.1 pass attempts.

I believe he will be the driving force that leads the Bucs back to relevancy, back to playoff berths, even maybe a Championship if all goes well. I believe we will have our QB for the next decade and eventually all will come around - yes, even Sander.

I believe we went through the hell that was 2-14 for Jameis Winston. Maybe he'll be the second QB who leads the Bucs to the Super Bowl. By the by, the first one was a damn Seminole, too.