Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston Named 2015 Pepsi Rookie of the Year
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Jameis Winston was the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and entered the league in a cloud of controversy over rape allegations while he was at Florida State University.
Now it looks like the Buccaneers’ gamble on Winston was a good one.
Jameis Winston was named the 2015 Pepsi Rookie of the Year after racking up more than 4,200 yards of offense and 28 touchdowns.
Winston edged out finalists Amari Cooper (WR, Oakland Raiders), Todd Gurley (RB, St. Louis Rams), Tyler Lockett (WR, Seattle Seahawks) and Marcus Peters (DB, Kansas City Chiefs).
Bucs QB Jameis Winston has been named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. Here’s a statement from Winston: pic.twitter.com/wsHTmtX59c
— JennaLaineBucs (@JennaLaineBucs) February 6, 2016
Winston arrived in Tampa with high expectations under the microscope after being chosen over former Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota for the top pick in the draft, however he was able to ease the minds of the Buccaneers faithful and surprise many NFL fans with each passing game.
Winston threw for 4,042 yards, 22 TDS and 15 INTS to go along with 213 yards rushing and another 6 TDS on the ground.
Winston led Tampa Bay to a fifth-place finish in yards per game, but the Bucs only finished the season with 6 wins.
Despite only getting 6 wins, Winston has ignited a winning culture and firmly planted himself as the leader and face of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise. His immediate impact as a first year player is unquestionable and Winston’s penchant for playing under extreme pressure is impeccable.
Jameis Winston is filling a void for the Bucs that is usually one of the most difficult positions to fill on the football field – and it appears the Bucs have their field general in place.
Winston also earned a spot on ESPN sports analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s All-Rookie Team.
Tampa Bay has a number of great players on offense surrounding Winston and are on their way to making defensive upgrades around linebacker Lavonte David. So don’t be surprised if you see Tampa Bay, a team that before Tony Dungy stayed at the bottom of the NFL, makes a triumphant return to playoff football sooner than later.
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