Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston Wins 2016 NFL Rookie Of The Year Award

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston

Photo via Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers received a lot of criticism for selecting Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. After one season, it appears they made a smart decision.

Winston won the 2016 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award Saturday, beating out other top candidates such as St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Winston started all 16 games for the Buccaneers this season. He threw for a rookie-leading 4,042 yards with 22 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

Tampa Bay finished 6-10, good for last place in the NFC South. That said, the Bucs did improve by four wins from 2014 and their offense, led by Winston, running back Doug Martin and rising star wide receiver Mike Evans, is on track to be one of the league’s best in a few years.

The 2015 awards will be presented during NFL Honors, which airs Saturday on CBS at 9 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images 

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