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Jameis Winston on character concerns: 'I know I made mistakes'

INDIANAPOLIS -- When the lights shine brightest, Jameis Winston typically performs at his best.

That was the case once again Friday as Winston met the media at the NFL Scouting Combine and opened with a statement addressing his history of off-field issues that have led to concerns about his character.

"I want to let y'all know I know I made mistakes. I know I have a past. But, right now, it's about me moving forward and earning the trust of all these 32 teams out there," Winston said.

While Winston's talent is undeniable to most analysts -- he is NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock's top signal-caller in the 2015 NFL Draft -- teams are digging into the series of off-the-field incidents that Winston was a part of during his time with the Seminoles. Scouts have expressed concern about the incidents, and Winston is expected to experience a level of scrutiny similar to what Johnny Manziel faced last year.

Despite those issues, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith noted on Wednesday that the team would be comfortable picking the Heisman Trophy winner No. 1 overall and making him the face of the franchise. Three of four mock drafts by NFL Media analysts have the team selecting Winston with the top pick.

"I didn't see what (Smith) had to say but it's my job as a quarterback to be the face of the franchise, whichever one that is," Winston remarked. "I know that's a big responsibility. This is a job up here. Whatever is behind me, is behind me."

Winston wraps up his time in front of evaluators at the combine on Saturday. He confirmed that he will take part in throwing drills on Saturday along with other top quarterbacks, despite reports that he needed to undergo additional testing to determine why he's experiencing weakness in his throwing shoulder.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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