Jameis Winston continues to make Florida State football history.
The former Heisman-Trophy winner was just selected No. 1 overall – the highest pick of any player in FSU history – by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, only adding to the legacy he’s leaving behind in Tallahassee.
Prior to Winston’s selection, Andre Wadsworth was the highest drafted FSU player, when he was selected No. 3 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 1998.
But Winston, aside from the maturity concerns, set himself above the rest – on the field – and rightfully deserved to be the top pick in the draft.
As a redshirt freshman, Winston led the Seminoles through an undefeated (14-0) National Championship season, capturing the last ever BCS title against Auburn, ending the SEC’s streak at seven consecutive BCS titles. He threw for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns. He also won the Heisman Trophy, putting the lid on one of the most impressive college football seasons in history.
And even after losing key pieces to his offense – C Bryan Stork, WR Kelvin Benjamin, WR Kenny Shaw and FB Chad Abram – to the NFL, he led FSU to 13 more consecutive wins, only to lose his final game in a garnet and gold jersey to Oregon in the first ever College Football Playoffs.
NFL teams will only use a high draft pick on players that can help win football games, and Winston was 26-1 as a starter at FSU. The guy knows how to win.
But Winston isn’t the only player to have fit that mold coming out of FSU.
Since 1970, the Seminoles have bid farewell to 10 other players that have been selected within the first nine picks of the NFL Draft.
DE Andre Wadsworth – No. 3 overall in 1998 by Arizona Cardinals: Played just three years in the NFL, finishing his career with one interception, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and eight sacks.
LB Marvin Jones – No. 4 overall in 1993 by New York Jets: Drafted at 21-years-old, Jones spent 10 years in the NFL – all with the Jets – finishing with 725 tackles, nine sacks, nine forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and five interceptions.
LB Peter Boulware – No. 4 overall in 1997 by Baltimore Ravens: Won AP Defensive Player of the Year after finishing his rookie season with 11.5 sacks and 43 tackles. After eight seasons in Baltimore, Boulware accumulated 70 sacks, 292 tackles, 14 forced fumbles and one interception.
WR Peter Warrick – No. 4 overall in 2000 by Cincinnati Bengals: Spent just six years in the NFL, gathering 275 catches for 2,991 yards and 18 touchdowns.
DB Deion Sanders – No. 5 overall in 1989 by Atlanta Falcons: Pro Football Hall of Fame, eight Pro Bowls and first-team all-pro six times. After 14 years, he finished with 53 interceptions – nine of which went to the house – 10 forced fumbles and 493 tackles. He also housed six punts and three kicks.
DB Terrell Buckley – No. 5 overall in 1992 by Green Bay Packers: Played 14 seasons in the NFL and finished his career with 50 interceptions – six of which went for touchdowns – and 467 tackles.
OT Walter Jones – No. 6 overall in 1997 by Seattle Seahawks: Pro Football Hall of Fame, nine Pro Bowls and first-team All-Pro four different times. He started 166 games at left tackle, 14 at right tackle, and spent his entire career in Seattle.
DT Corey Simon – No. 6 overall in 2000 by Philadelphia Eagles: Played seven seasons in the NFL, finishing his career with 190 tackles, 32 sacks, nine forced fumbles and eight passes defended. He was also selected to a Pro Bowl in 2003.
RB Sammie Smith – No. 9 overall in 1989 by Miami Dolphins: Played just four seasons in the NFL, rushing for 1,881 yards and 15 touchdowns on 532 carries (17 fumbles in three seasons). Smith also corralled 32 receptions for 310 yards and a touchdown.
LB Ernie Sims – No. 9 overall in 2006 by Detroit Lions: Spent eight years in the NFL, finishing his career with 419 tackles, 5.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and an interception.