Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht was impressed by Jameis Winston during the former Florida State quarterback's visit to the club's facilities. But with eight weeks to go before the 2015 NFL Draft, the club's investigation into whether Winston is the right man to shape the future of the franchise isn't nearly finished.
"He's lively, he's engaging, he's incredibly smart," Licht said in a video on buccaneers.com chronicling Winston's visit. "He confirmed all the things we thought about him going into this process, but the process isn't done."
The former Heisman Trophy winner is thought to be a strong possibility as the club's No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Buccaneers have a need at the quarterback position and, having come from a pro style offense, Winston's learning curve in the NFL could be a shorter one than the draft's other top quarterback prospect, Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Winston meets veteran receiver Vincent Jackson in the video, and apparently met with plenty of others.
"We had him in here for a full day, and he met with a lot of people," Licht said.
Winston's message to each?
"I just want them to know I am human, and I'm a great person, and this smile isn't fake," Winston said.
What's fake and what's real about Winston will be the subject of detailed investigations by any club interested in drafting him. Various questions about his character make him a potential risk as a first-round pick, but this is the second time the Bucs have shown at least cautious optimism about Winston's maturity level, having also done so at the NFL Scouting Combine.
At the very least, we know the club's look into Winston has included some communication with FSU coach Jimbo Fisher.