The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the Number One pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and they’re unlikely to give it up.
The Bucs are in sole possession of the Number One overall pick in the NFL Draft and despite rumors that they might be listening to offers, it sounds as though they would have to be just about handed the world to consider moving down, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder.
This is, however, in somewhat of a direct contrast to words by the Bucs GM Jason Licht, who suggested earlier in the week that “everything is for sale.” For the right price, of course. Licht said that the Bucs fielded calls from more than one team last Sunday asking about the prized top pick, according to NFL.com.
The overwhelming sense has been that the Bucs will keep their top pick and use it on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, in spite of all the various questions that have cropped up about Winston since he declared for the Draft. A smaller minority sees the Bucs maybe deciding against Winston and picking up Marcus Mariota instead. Either way, it’s possible the top pick is a franchise-changing one for the Bucs and giving it up would require a king’s ransom.
Licht said the calls on Sunday could be characterized as teams feeling out what it would take to trade for the top pick. Licht added that there were no parameters given or offered, but more than one team was interested, though he obviously declined to name the teams involved.
Head coach Lovie Smith and Licht are apparently already in total agreement on who they plan to select with the top pick, assuming something extraordinary isn’t offered as a trade. If it is Winston, the Bucs have reportedly been involved in strenuous background checks. They spoke to over 75 people, but it did not include Erica Kinsman, who is the alleged victim of sexual assault by Winston. No criminal charges were filed, but Kinsman recently filed a civil suit.
However, the feeling is that the ownership is satisfied with the level of vetting that has been done and they do not plan to dissuade the front office from any player they’re intent on drafting.
Licht said that he believes this year’s draft is the biggest in the history of the Bucs franchise. There is immense pressure to get it right, whether it’s with a top quarterback pick or a blockbuster trade.
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