Why Not Jameis Winston?: Reasons For and Against

With the end of the Combine, the excitement over the 2015 NFL Draft is close at hand.  Who will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers choose as their No. 1 pick?

Mock Drafts suggest a quarterback the franchise can build a team around, but is that quarterback Jameis Winston?

The answer is an unqualified…Maybe.

ESPN Photo

ESPN Photo

Reasons For

1) Winston has Confidence

During his interview at the Combine, Winston stated:

“I plan on winning the super bowl the next year…I want my name to stay relevant for the next 15 to 20 years of my career.”

Winston was said to be cocky and confident, downplaying his shoulder issue (which was reported to be fine, at least for the short-term), which scored him big points.

After Friday’s interview, Peter King reported Winston saying he welcomed the scrutiny.

“I love it.  I welcome it.  They’re really going to find out the type of person I am.  Character is not about what you do when your around people.  Character is what you show when no one is looking.  I believe if they do a hard, hard investigation into Jameis the person, they will find out that I’m a good guy.”

Seeing as how confidence is an important trait your franchise quarterback needs to have, it’s good to see that Winston doesn’t lack in that category.

2) Winston Cares

On his way home from the Combine, Winston was spotted at the Indianapolis Airport helping an elderly man push his wheel chair to baggage.

I wish I had a picture to put in.

3) Winston Put on a Show at the Combine

Winston’s Combine numbers were good, but not outstanding.  His field work was probably more impressive.  It was said that Winston’s drill work looked sharp, he solid footwork and was able to make the throws asked.  All positives.  And, certainly, Winston thought he did great too.

4) Winston Has Experience playing a Pro-style Offense

Family Guy: S4 Ep.20 Patriot Games

Family Guy: S4 Ep.20 Patriot Games

I don’t think any more needs to be said about this since it’s basically the first thing out of every analyst’s mouth when asked about Winston.

Reasons Against

1) Winston is Narcissistic

Watching Jameis Winston’s interview, it’s hard to find the sincerity.  I’m inclined to believe his cockiness is narcissism and his confidence is more a sense of entitlement.  And if you want to waste over 11 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back, feel free to watch it in its entirety below.

2) Two Words – Jimbo Fisher

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher sell Jameis Winston.  What a great person Winston is.  What a hard worker Winston is.  Winston’s leadership.  How Winston learns from his mistakes.  How sorry Winston is about his mistakes.  Fisher might be better than Winston’s own agent.  You’d think Fisher was getting a percentage of Winston’s first year salary if he’s picked #1 overall.  In all honesty, he probably deserves it for covering-up all of Winston’s past transgressions.

Getty Images

Getty Images

3) Winston Makes Bad Decisions

Of course some are less troubling than others, but his actions say a lot about his maturity and his character.  Granted, we’ve all probably caused some trouble in our youth.  But Winston was rarely reprimanded for his actions, sending a message that star athletes are above the law.  Here’s a brief time line of his known shenanigans.

  • Nov 25, 2012 – Winston involved in a BB/Pellet gun battle at his apartment complex.  Of course, 12 other FSU football players have been noted to be involved in causing thousands of dollars worth of damage with BB/pellet guns over two years.  Winston has also been said to bring a BB gun to campus and shoot squirrels.
  • July 2013 – Employees watched helplessly as Winston and two friends insisted on using ketchup containers and water cups for free-refills of soda (no purchase was made).  Burger King didn’t press charges.  I guess they forgot the soda was ONLY free “refills” after purchase, not just free “fills”.
  • December 7, 2012 – A female FSU student files rape charges against Winston at the Tallahassee Police Department. Her story is currently being told in a documentary, “the Hunting Ground.”  There’s a lot of things that don’t add-up.  The NY Times broke down the story.
  • April 29, 2014 – Why have free soda when you can have free crab legs? Obviously, he deserved them (for free) for skirting the alleged rape charge and ruining at least one girl’s life.
  • September 16th, 2014 – Winston stood up on a table at the student union and yelled “Fuck her right in the pussy.”  He was suspended for the September 20th Clemson game (the school couldn’t overlook this one.  There were too many witnesses).  Winston suited up anyway, probably believing there was a mistake.  It wasn’t.
  • November 2014Gambling allegations of point-shaving to help former team-mate Chris Rabb win.  Of course, this was investigated and nothing has been proven.

5) Interception…Interception…Interception

Although Winston has a strong arm, he can be over-confident in his ability.  In Winston’s 2014 season at FSU, he threw 18 interceptions, 8 more than his 2013 season.  The reason?  Winston was throwing more.  His passing attempts increased 30% in 2014.  Although the interceptions didn’t lead to losses, college isn’t the NFL.  And, an interception is an interception.

Coach Fisher stated there were several reasons:

“His (Winston) interceptions came from his poor decisions, came from dropped balls, came form a route not being where its suppose to be or a blitz not being picked up…”

So what does that mean for Winston in the NFL?  Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht says:

“[U]sually you find when a guy throws interceptions in college that doesn’t go away in the pros.”

And one thing the Buccaneers don’t need more of are interceptions.

6) Limited Athleticism

Defense in the NFL is faster than in college.  Therefore a quarterback needs to have the ability to quickly transition outside the pocket so as to extend plays and avoid negative yards.  Winston’s 40-yard dash (4.97) not only was ultimately on the slow side, but watching him run demonstrated a lack of explosive speed off the line.  Although Winston stands tall in the pocket, he needs to be able to react a step ahead of the play for him to be worth the 1st overall draft pick.  So far, it’s at best unclear whether he would have the physical tools necessary to do so.

So…Why not Jameis Winston?

Since 1990, out of 58 first round quarterback picks, over half performed below first round expectations and 18 were complete washouts.

Ryan Leaf is the most infamous example of bravado mistaken for confidence and skill.

On the other hand, over-looked later draft picks have gone on to have successful careers, such as:

  • Joe Montana – selected in the 3rd round of the 1979 NFL Draft.
  • Tom Brady – selected in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
  • Russell Wilson – selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

There’s no doubt that Jameis Winston has skill.  But, unfortunately, his character isn’t star-caliber.  And that’s usually an athlete’s greatest downfall.  Regardless, all signs still point to the Buccaneers selecting Winston #1 overall.

Getty Images

Getty Images

So is this the face of a franchise?  You decide.

By Joanne Kong

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