Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State – 2015


Redshirt sophomore who has declared for the 2015 NFL draft.

Positives: He ran a pro-style offense in college, so he should be pretty ready to take on an NFL offense. He shows generally good accuracy on short and medium passes, with above-average anticipation – he usually hits receivers coming out of their breaks and in stride down the field. He throws with above-average accuracy on passes to the flat and on intermediate passes to receivers breaking to the sideline – consistently throwing a catchable pass with a nice spiral. He can throw with good velocity through tight windows, but also with nice touch when he needs to. He doesn’t get happy feet in the pocket under pressure and stands his ground confidently. And, when he does move around under pressure, he is able to sidestep rushers up the middle and use a stiff arm to fend them off. He will usually keep his eyes downfield on the run and he is willing to throw the ball away. He runs with adequate speed and above-average power, and will stiffarm his way for extra yards. He is athletic overall – he also played on Florida State’s baseball team, and was drafted by the Rangers in 2012.

Negatives: His accuracy on intermediate crossing routes is inconsistent, and he will overthrow receivers at times. Though he moves around pretty well under pressure, his decision making under pressure isn’t very good. His vision consistently narrows a lot, and he will overlook obviously open checkdown receivers ­– or will see other open receivers too late. He makes too many pre-snap decisions about his targets and will eyeball his receivers and throw into heavy traffic and will also miss better opportunities down the middle of the field. He will also often just throw the ball up for grabs or even directly at defenders when he is under pressure. Outside the pocket, he will sometimes try to run for yards rather than throw to his receivers to make a play. He also shows below-average throwing mechanics on the move, and doesn’t set his feet to throw even when he has enough time. His throwing motion isn’t bad, but it will drop down to three-quarter at times. Though he is athletic and has enough power and speed as a runner, he isn’t especially quick. He needs to be more aware of ball security in the pocket and he will hold the ball too low while standing in the pocket under pressure. He comes with several well-documented character red flags. He was accused of rape in December 2012, but, after a year-long off-and-on investigation, no charges were filed. Was caught shoplifting in April 2014 and was sentenced to community service. Then, he was also suspended by the team from half of an early-season September 2014 game for unbecoming conduct.

Projection: Round 1. He will probably be gone by the end of the first 10 picks, possibly with the first overall. To me, though, he looks like a better prospect in late round one or round two. He reminds me of EJ Manuel with a little more accuracy and a lot more character red flags. If he matures off the field and improves his decision-making on the field, he could be an adequate starting NFL quarterback.

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