Winston had moved to the top of the draft board over the last month, although there was still speculation about a possible trade of the No 1 pick going into the final minutes before the pick was confirmed.
The strong-armed quarterback faced competition from Oregon’s Marcus Mariota for the top pick, and also had to answer questions about some off-field issues.
Winston said: “(This is) very special. I am??blessed with the opportunity and am thankful my family is here.
“I’m going to Tampa Bay, it is so surreal. Shout out to the Tampa Bay nation??and I look forward to earning the spot and earning some wins. I am going to embrace this opportunity to be a Buc now.”
Mariota had faced days of trade speculation, with Philadelphia and Chicago rumoured to want to move up and select him, but the Tennessee Titans retained their second pick and selected the Heisman Trophy winner.
Third pick belonged to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and they selected defensive end Dante Fowler Jr from the nearby Florida Gators.
“Since I was 10 I started watching the draft on TV and I told myself I want to be on that stage,” the pass-rushing Fowler said.
“My hard work paid off and I have a lot of great things to do. They know who I am. Florida know who I am.”
Exciting wide receiver Amari Cooper was selected fourth by the Oakland Raiders and the top five was rounded out by the first surprise pick, with the Washington Redskins picking Iowa guard Brandon Scherff.
The New York Jets further boosted their??already stacked defensive line when they selected Leonard Williams of USC at No 6 – he was expected to go in the top three.
Kevin White was the second wide receiver to be drafted and he received a??standing ovation from the Chicago crowd after he was selected by the Bears seventh overall.
The Atlanta Falcons picked Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, while tackle??Ereck Flowers was selected by the New York Giants and Todd Gurley became the first running back to be drafted in the first round for three years after he was selected at 10 by the St Louis Rams.
Trae Waynes was the first cornerback selected in this year’s draft and will??play for the Minnesota Vikings, while the Cleveland Browns, with their first of??two first round picks went for defensive tackle Danny Shelton.
Offensive tackle Andrus Peat went to the New Orleans Saints, while the Miami??Dolphins chose wide receiver DeVante Parker with the 14th pick.
In a draft expected to be littered with trades the first one finally came at pick 15, when the??San Diego Chargers moved up two places to??bring in running back Melvin Gordon with a pick originally belonging to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chargers gave up a fourth round pick in this years draft and fifth in next??years to San Francisco to move up.
Cornerback Kevin Johnson went to the Houston Texans, defensive end Arik??Armstead was selected by the 49ers with the pick they got back from the Chargers and Marcus Peters, who was??kicked off his Washington college team, was chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Guard Cameron Erving joined the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Nelson Agholor went to the Philadelphia Eagles and Cedric Ogbuehi was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Pittsburgh Steelers chose linebacker Bud Dupree, while the Denver Broncos??defensive end Shane Ray after moving up in a trade with the Detroit Lions. Ray was cited for marijuana possession earlier this week.
The Arizona Cardinals selected tackle DJ Humphries with pick 24, linebacker Shaq Thompson was selected by the Washington Redskins, wide receiver Breshad Perriman by the Baltimore Ravens and defensive back Byron Jones by the Dallas Cowboys.
The Detroit Lions brought in guard Laken Tomlinson, Indianapolis Colts wide??receiver Phillip Dorsett and Green Bay Packers used their first round pick on defensive back Damarious??Randall.
The New Orleans Saints used the pick they got for trading Jimmy Graham to the??Seattle Seahawks by bringing in linebacker Stephone Anthony, while last season’s??Super Bowl winners the New England Patriots added defensive tackle Malcom Brown??to their roster.