Name: Jameis Winston
College: Florida State University
Height / Weight: 6’4” / 227 lbs.
S.U. Rank: 2
Potential NFL Teams: Tampa Bay, Tennessee
Of all of the players in the 2015 NFL Draft, the one that catches most everyone’s eye is the quarterback from Florida State University–better known as Jameis Winston.
As a member of the Seminoles football program, Winston brought home a Heisman Trophy, a National Championship, and a ton of attention to FSU that wasn’t there in recent or previous years. Winston was able to return “Noles Nation” back to the top of collegiate football and everybody was loving it.
Until this season.
After winning a National Title, things didn’t seem to really go Jameis’ way at all. Off the field issues, including a rape allegation, have seemed to taunt and tint what once was greatness.
But despite what goes on off the field, Winston is still a great football player and deserves one last chance at a dream come true.
Here are three things to look for in Winston when he comes to an NFL team near you:
1. Good Ol’ Famous Jameis
Coming into Florida State, Jameis Winston was nothing short of a prized possession. All that follow college football knew right from the beginning that the Seminoles were going to be in charge of maintaining and developing a very special and very particular young quarterback.
They did not disappoint. At least on the field.
Statistically speaking, Jameis Winston had another interesting college football season. While following up with a phenomenal season after winning the Heisman Trophy the year prior is not an easy task, Winston showed on the field that he was more than up to the challenge.
And even though his stats may not have shown it, his team still kept getting W’s.
In the 2014-15 year, Winston racked up just 25 touchdowns and an astounding 18 interceptions (a career-worst). From the first game against Oklahoma State, Winston showed that this season for the Seminoles was going to be a very different road than that just a year ago.
And oh, how different it was.
Instead of blowing out opponents left and right, Florida State stood their ground nice and sound thanks to their leader at quarterback. An overtime win against Clemson, a nail-biting near collapse against Notre Dame, and a two-point fiasco against Georgia Tech were just some of the games that showed the Seminoles’ true grit.
Thankfully for Winston, now that he’s a little battle tested, the NFL may not be such a bad adjustment.
2. A Tale Of Two Cities
Pasadena, CA and Tallahassee, FL are two completely different cities on opposite coasts with opposite football strategies. Somehow, someway, both cities were able to produce two of the most electric quarterbacks the college game has ever seen–Jameis Winston and Matt Leinart.
Leinart produced a 37-2 win/loss record in his time as a USC Trojan, going on to win a Rose Bowl (2003), a National Championship (the National Championship victory has been since vacated–2004), and even a Heisman Trophy.
All of these things–minus the Rose Bowl victory–Jameis Winston has.
Leinart was selected tenth overall by the Cardinals in 2006 and has not had a fruitful career in the NFL, to say the least. Since being drafted by the Cardinals, Leinart has played for the Texans, Raiders, and has been most recently added to the Buffalo Bills but strictly as a member of the pre-season and practice squads.
What’s my point in bringing Leinart into the conversation?
Jameis Winston has a model of exactly what to avoid if he wants to actually go on and be a successful NFL quarterback, regardless of which team he ends up on.
All Winston must do is stay out of trouble off the field, commit to always learning and growing on the field, and learning from any mistakes he makes as a football player instead of letting them get to his head. If he can go and do that, on top of keeping his pride where it needs to be, Winston will be an NFL super star in no time.
3. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
We have all had to go through that phase in life where we have to deal with constant, really annoying hecklers of some sort, right? Whether you experienced it in elementary school, middle school, or even high school, Jameis Winston has had to go through a lot at the college level of all places.
What can be seen in him is a lot of prior college star Johnny Manziel. The attitude of being the best on the field, not caring off the field, and then trying to find some middle ground with the media does not always fare well.
Manziel, who ended up a Cleveland Brown, had to enter rehab recently to address problems in his personal life–this is something that no one, especially Jameis himself, wants to see happen with Winston.
With his college past now behind him (at least hypothetically), all eyes are now on what Winston will do at the professional stage of his game.
The NFL has had its fair share of unruly players, to say the least, especially last season. The cases of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Josh Gordon all took center stage when the focus should have been on one thing–the game.
Life is not a game. The more people play it like a game, especially without trying to read their own make-believe rule book, the deeper and darker the consequences will be for their actions.
Jameis still has some time to turn things around, but he has to get the ball rolling as soon as possible if he doesn’t want to lose his chance at a dream all but a breath away.
Do you want to look at more prospect profiles? Then click 2015 NFL Draft Top Prospects Rankings: Top-3 QB, RB, WR, S, CB, OLB, DE