Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will reportedly enter the NFL Draft, and while he won’t be back in Tallahassee next season, he may very well remain in Florida.
Why? Because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the first overall pick.
“I would take (Winston with the) No. 1 (pick), hands down,” Yahoo! Sports NFL analyst Shaun King said on Gio and Jones. “As soon as the commissioner says, ‘Welcome to the 2015 NFL Draft,’ I’d be standing next to him and he would say, ‘With the first pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Jameis Winston.’ I think he’s that good. Very rarely does a quarterback come through and you have really no concerns about his on-field performance – and at the end of the day, no matter what anybody says, that’s what matters. A guy can be as nice as he wants off the field; if he can’t play, it’s not going to matter.
“Winston checks all the boxes,” King continued. “He has the size, he has the charisma, he has the intangibles, he has that winner’s mentality – he loves football. And I want people to understand this. His off-the-field issues have nothing to do with his approach to football. You’ve never heard him be late to a meeting, you’ve never heard him not work out, you’ve never heard anybody question his work ethic. They’re all related to the other 20 percent of his time. Whereas (with) Johnny Manziel, it was, He’s in the club, he’s drinking, he’s not working out as hard as we (expected), he’s not always on time to the meetings. So I just think people need to separate the two when you’re talking about Jameis and then understand that he’s (still very young).”
The only other quarterback who will be given consideration for the first overall pick is Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. That being said, there’s no denying which Heisman winner King would rather have.
“Well, this is one of the most amazing things ever,” King said. “People say Mariota checks off all the boxes for the intangibles, but they’re concerned (about whether he can) throw the ball in rhythm (and whether he has the) arm talent. So that means they’re concerned about (whether) he (can) actually play. He’s a great college quarterback that’s a perfect fit for the Oregon system, but how in the world can I draft a quarterback in the first round if I’m not sure he can throw with anticipation (and) I’m worried about his arm talent and his accuracy and his footwork? What else does it take to play quarterback in the NFL?
“I just don’t think in this day and age you can take chances on guys that need that much development early in the draft,” King continued. “I feel like as a GM, as a head coach, if you don’t win, you have to hit on those picks. I just think Mariota – unless he goes to Philly – I think he’s two or three years away from being even an average starter in the league.”