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NFL Draft: Player Profile of Florida State QB Jameis Winston
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6 Jan 2014 05:50 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Jameis Winston won the 2013 Heisman Trophy as a freshman. (Image Source: Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

Here’s a NFL Draft player profile of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston:

Name: Jameis Winston; School: Florida State; Class: Redshirt Freshman

Measurables: 6’4”, 228 pounds; Stats: 3,820 yards, 38 TDs (10 INTs), 67.9%

Pros: At 6’4” and 228 pounds the redshirt freshman already looks the part of a pro quarterback and after just 13 games of college football, Winston appears to be mature beyond his years. In addition to being blessed with an NFL frame, the Alabama native has a plus arm, capable of making all the NFL throws, and he is usually accurate with his passes. While he doesn’t need to run to be successful, he’s a very good athlete and can make plays with his legs when the situation calls for it. Incredibly poised, Winston has been unflappable with his pocket presence. His football character is unquestioned, as the freshman is revered by his teammates and appears to be a natural leader.

Cons: As a passer there are very few issues with Winston’s game other than the fact that he’s just a freshman, so some more polish wouldn’t hurt. While he’s an accurate passer most of the time, there are moments where he loses his mechanics and can be off target with his throws, as the ball will sail on him from time to time. He could also do a better job protecting the football. It’s not a big issue, but if the play isn’t there Winston can show more restraint and not force throws into coverage. The biggest concern with the Heisman Trophy winner is off the field. His legal issues appear to be behind him but before a team hands over the keys to their franchise to Winston, who was accused but not charged with a very serious crime, they will do their due diligence.

Factoid: The Texas Rangers selected the two-sports star in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB first-year player draft.

X-Factor: There are about 16 months between now and the 2015 NFL Draft, when Winston will be first eligible. Two case studies: Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney. Like Clowney, Winston could be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft two years out of high school, but because of the league’s rules his hand is being forced. I don’t believe Winston will have a season like Clowney did in 2013, but then again, no one predicted Clowney’s down season either. As for Manziel, Winston will follow in his footsteps as a Heisman Trophy winner going back to school, possibly as a national champion. How will he handle the extra scrutiny and the bull’s eyes that will be on his chest for all of 2014? Winston appears to be cut from a different cloth than Manziel, but everyone was pretty surprised when the rape allegations came out, so how well do we really know any of these prospects?

My Take: Because of the NFL’s draft rules, Winston will have to wait at least one more year before he can play for pay. In my opinion, he’s the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012 and possibly the best other than Luck in quit a few years. The kid is the real deal and the complete package. Winston could use more reps and experience at the quarterback position. No matter how talented, 14 is a very small sample of games before moving onto the NFL, especially for a quarterback. As long as he stays healthy and embraces it, another year at the college level is probably the best thing for Winston’s career long term. He is a legitimate franchise quarterback and I fully expect Winston to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Relate Links:

NFL Draft Watch BCS Championship Game Edition: Ranking the Florida State Seminoles Top Prospects

BCS Championship Game Preview: #1 Florida State vs. #No. 2 Auburn Tigers

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. 

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