Jameis Winston, Florida State/NFL team TBD
Smart money says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Jameis Winston No. 1 overall on April 30. And dude, Mike Evans! Enough said.
That is at least from a pro football perspective. Instead it is helpful to look at Jameis Winston’s collegiate career, where he won the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman and followed that up with a less impressive, but still solid sophomore season before declaring for the NFL draft.
It is true that Winston threw a lot of interceptions in 2014—17 to be exact. There are reasonable explanations. One, is that Jimbo Fisher’s offense is a pro-style scheme which emphasizes NFL throws into traffic. If you don’t buy that, try this one on for size: The talent around Winston was not as developed in 2014.
Neither are super convincing are they? Well, there’s one other plausible option. It’s possible that Winston was simply weary from months of distractions (many of which he admittedly created). By leaving Florida State, those distractions will in some part remain with him, but in another sense be washed away.
Winston can get back to playing football, as he did in 2013. And he was unquestionably the most ready NFL quarterback after the 2013 season. It’s likely that his NFL team, whether it is the Bucs or someone else, will be getting the 2013 version rather than the 2014 version.
And even if it is only the 2014 version, that guy still has a chance to be a serviceable NFL quarterback. Winston is my No. 1 overall player, and No. 1 quarterback in the 2015 NFL draft class.
Next: Had a tough rookie year, but he's got the tools