Off-field issues aren’t the only question for Jameis Winston

AP

It’s easy to see why there are significant concerns about former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston off the field. But there are questions about Winston on the field as well.

Although Winston was a great quarterback as a Heisman Trophy-winning redshirt freshman in 2013, he wasn’t as great in 2014. And NFL Network’s Mike Mayock noted after watching Winston’s Pro Day that there are serious questions about whether Winston takes good enough care of the football after throwing 18 interceptions last season.

“I keep going back to the point that he throws too many interceptions, and ball security is the most important thing to me for a quarterback. Off the field, do you trust him or not? There’s still some homework to do on that,” Mayock said.

Mayock considers Winston the top quarterback in the draft, but he also thinks there could be valid reasons to take Marcus Mariota ahead of him.

“If Marcus Mariota is in the same ballpark, if you’re an NFL franchise, then you take Marcus Mariota because you don’t have any issues off the field,” Mayock said. “If there’s a bigger disparity, then it’s a different answer.”

It appears that the Buccaneers are sold on Winston, on and off the field. Not everyone is so sure. Luckily for Winston, the Buccaneers’ opinion is the only one that matters.

79 responses to “Off-field issues aren’t the only question for Jameis Winston

  1. I wouldn’t take either one of these guys in the first round. Not sure where it is written that the best QB in the draft needs to be taken 1st over all ever year.

  2. But he only lost two games in three seasons and has two national championships. He’s a sure fire pick. Ooops, sorry, that was Leinhart haha

  3. He’s still a kid and learning his craft. The question is “can he be taught and does he take coaching?”

    Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson could not help him as he did not want the benefit of their experience.

  4. Andrew Luck. He is not. Not even close. Not worthy of the #1 spot. Unintentional rhyme.

  5. Eli Manning throws a lot of interceptions too.

    He also wins Super BowlS. Plural.

    Not a bad trade off.

  6. Yup, 18 picks (against some not very good defenses besides), plus of course the embarrassing fumble on national TV vs. Oregon. I’m glad this part of his game is finally being brought forward, but if the Bucs are locked in to him they’ve already decided it doesn’t matter.

  7. briandorry55 says: Apr 2, 2015 1:20 PM

    Mariota had 25 fumbles in three seasons….8 multi-fumble games. Nobody talks about that for some reason.
    ***********************************************
    Two wrongs don’t equal one right, they both stink.

  8. Tampa has the big body, talent on offense to compensate for inaccuracy on passes.

    BUT it takes a good defense to compensate for loads of interceptions.

    Gonna be a long season in Tampa with Jameis.

  9. I agree with quadya. Leonard Williams from USC looks like the best player available.

    As far as Jameis Winston, the dope would get into BB-gun fights. That should tell you all you need to know about what a dunce he is.

  10. I always love how much people are CONVINCED that they just KNOW how a college QB is going to do in the NFL, as if it is soooooooo obvious, and anybody with a different opinion from them is SUCH an idiot.

    Doesn’t anybody remember just how many people were CONVINCED that Ryan Leaf would be so much better than Peyton Manning?

    Or how much of a can’t-miss JaMarcus Russell was?

    People have such short memories. And they also continue to forget just how important a player’s mentality and character really are.

  11. I’m an FSU alum and Bucs fan, and I think Mayock is on to something when he says take Mariota if they believe he’s at least in the ballpark. Winston wasn’t ever convicted of any wrongdoing and by that technicality alone he deserves a shot to play in the league, but I don’t think he’s worthy of the top pick. Say what you want about the New York Times piece, but if even a fraction of what Kinsman says happened is true, thats enough for me. If I’m Jason Licht and Lovie Smith, I’m not sure how I look my mother, sister, or daughter in the eye ever again if Jameis is the pick. Something terrible happened and we’ll likely never know the whole truth, but his lack of humility leads this fan to believe he hasn’t learned much about keeping his ego in check. Let him prove to some other franchise that he’s mended his ways.

  12. Jameis has the brains to understand the game, and his position inside and out. That is a huge advantage, and I think it’s made him a bit apathetic towards developing further as a Quarterback. He will have to understand however, that in the NFL, every player knows their position and has a grasp on the game – that’s why they are called professionals – and his competitive edge will have to come from more than his football knowledge.

    Either way, I’m not looking forward to seeing him play Carolina twice a year .

  13. The thing that stuck with me after his last game against Oregon was the way he lost his composure. The word is that his coach had to tell him that he either needed to “settle down” or he would bench him.
    It looked like he was in pure panick mode when things started to go against him in that game.
    That behavior should be a huge red flag, especially when you combine it with the off field garbage.

  14. 2ruefan says: Apr 2, 2015 1:26 PM

    “I always love how much people are CONVINCED that they just KNOW how a college QB is going to do in the NFL…Doesn’t anybody remember just how many people were CONVINCED that Ryan Leaf would be so much better than Peyton Manning?… And they also continue to forget just how important a player’s mentality and character really are.”
    ————————————————————

    Yes, exactly. It’s all speculation and draft prognostication is a full-time cottage industry, this time of year. Every player is a crapshoot, because the main key to success is whether the player will put forth the effort needed – on and off the field – to succeed.

    Many pundits said Leaf was a better prospect than Manning. Reggie Bush was a “once in a generation” talent. Bridgewater fell like a stone last year after his pro day, and he did the best out of all the rookie QBs last season.

    You never know until they play.

  15. Unless you’re getting Manning or Luck, DO NOT take a QB this high. When will NFL teams learn?

    Best two quarterbacks drafted last year were Bridgewatter and Carr and it’s not even close. Both taken at the end of the 1st/beginning of the 2nd. Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best QB in the league, taken towards the end of the 1st.

    I feel sorry for these QBs that get hyped up and are destined to fail. Take Johnny for example. Dude was a 3rd or 4th round talent at best and if he was drafted correctly, no one calls him a bust. I don’t really feel sorry for him though.

  16. Just a few points.

    1. In 2013; Winston had Kelvin Benjamin and one of the best defenses in the nation along with a top 15 rushing attack.

    2. In 2014; Winston had to rely on 2 freshman WRs and FSU had one of the worst rushing attacks in the nation (something close to 100th overall); to go along with terrible defensive play compared to 2013.

    Winston was essentially the only offense FSU had if you watched last season as there was absolutely no run game. It doesn’t excuse all his interceptions but it is documented that at least 5-6 were completely on the WR running the wrong route or dropping the ball. And 7 came in 2 terrible 1/2s. His numbers in the 2nd half were incredibly strong and consistent all year.

    Also – historically – interceptions in college mean very little for NFL success. From what I’ve studied; a lot of the best QBs threw a ton of interceptions in college (Manning/Favre/Matt Ryan just to name a couple off the top of my head).

  17. quadya says:
    Apr 2, 2015 1:16 PM
    I wouldn’t take either one of these guys in the first round. Not sure where it is written that the best QB in the draft needs to be taken 1st over all ever year
    —————
    The NFL rule book is where it got written. It legislated the QB position into the disproportionately most important position on the field by far. Even more so than before. If you don’t have a quality starting QB you’re not competing.

  18. quadya says: Apr 2, 2015 1:16 PM

    I wouldn’t take either one of these guys in the first round. Not sure where it is written that the best QB in the draft needs to be taken 1st over all ever year.

    ——————————–

    I agree. I think this is just a measure of how desperate many teams are for QBs, and the fact that there aren’t as many top prospects this year.

    Of course “top prospect” QBs most often end up in the NFL discard pile.

  19. Winston has the skill set but not sure about the brains for the nfl. Brains meaning off the field and decision making(ints) on the field.
    Mariota seems like a stand up guy but didn’t make or have to make many “nfl” throws. his stats in college were phenomenal but watching the tape you wonder if they will translate(other than a chip kelly putting him in a system designed specifically for him).

    Really tough decision if you need a qb.

  20. If you are not 100% sold on drafting Winston #1 then trade down even if you don’t get a great haul back, hope that Scherff is still on the board and build that line up and draft Bryce Petty.

  21. kd75 says: Apr 2, 2015 1:21 PM

    Eli Manning throws a lot of interceptions too.

    He also wins Super BowlS. Plural.

    Not a bad trade off.

    =========================

    Okay, so if we can give Winston a ferocious defense and a few 1,000-yard RBs, he can win a Super Bowl too. Got it. Makes perfect sense.

  22. It doesn’t matter who the Bucs take with the pick. Neither the player nor the team will reach their potential. Have all of you forgotten? Lovie Smith, football genius, is running the show.

  23. I hate that everyone is knocking him. I mean lets be honest with ourselves. Yelling obscenities in public, raping people and and stealing food is all part of going to college and we’ve all been there – right? People who don’t do those things go on to be doctors and stuff like that, how boring. I for one think that young Jameis is going to be every bit as great as Geno Smith is.

  24. Hey I’m a duck fan Marriota fan , but I’d like to have people leave both of these guys alone. The only pressure they have is the people who write this crap. People who don’t know anything then read this and figure it is gospel . Leave the kids alone and allow their actions on the field do the talking

  25. jvillenole says:
    Apr 2, 2015 1:22 PM
    Yesterday he was “chubby.” Today he doesn’t protect the ball. Tomorrow?
    —————————
    Subject to the league’s person conduct policy.

  26. I feel for Bucs fans too. Even if their QB is a hit, I think that the management (i.e. Lovie’s bosses) will find a way to screw up the roster.

  27. Both will be backups by the 2017 season. It’s about time the NFL scouts, GMs and owners stop buying into media hyped less then stellar players. Look at what, 2011 draft? Three Aqaba taken in the first round that completely stunk up the football field. People knock fans for not being experts LOL. The fans for the most partIMO have a better grasp on how good or bad most of the players are that are media hyped. Heisman Trophy is not the win all do all sign a player will be good at the NFL level. College? Yes.
    Some start throwing Names like Farve,Brady,and such around. Well those are far and few in between. If that was an everyday occurs. E you would have NFL scouts scouring the grocery store stock rooms in search of the next Kurt Warner

    In shirt in short , neither Winston or Mariotta (sp) are worthy of a top ten pick certainly not a number one pick. BUT they will get picked high and the fans of the teams that pick them will have to buy into the fluff about them. If nobody thinks the NFL does not buy into media hype on players then please, think again.

  28. I don’t know why everyone says that he has the smarts. I saw him with Grudan and it seemed rehearsed…. he was “guessing” in his responses. I think they had to few takes to make him look smart.

  29. DrSteveBrule says:
    Apr 2, 2015 1:20 PM
    Andrew Luck. He is not. Not even close. Not worthy of the #1 spot. Unintentional rhyme.
    ************************************************
    How many NCAA Championships did Luck win?

  30. How does Mike Mayock analyze with a question?

    “If Marcus Mariota is in the same ballpark, if you’re an NFL franchise, then you take Marcus Mariota because you don’t have any issues off the field,”

    How about saying that Marcus Mariota is or isn’t in the same ballpark and saying who you would take and why.

    I understand that an org may feel differently and that may be what he means but he still hasn’t said who he would draft. I guess if he doesn’t commit, he doesn’t lose credibility.

  31. Bill Parcell’s quarterback draft rules:

    1. Be a three-year starter (fail)
    2. Post at least 23 wins (pass)
    3. Be a senior (fail)
    4. Be a college graduate (fail)

  32. Uh oh Mr. Mayock, expect a call from Warren Moon, The Fritz Pollard Alliance, and Al Sharpton. Expect POTUS to hold a news conference as well questioning your comments. I see a tax audit coming your way!

  33. Mariota had 27 fumbles, losing 11. I believe Winston had 12, losing 4. If you add fumbles and picks, the overall turnover difference isn’t as extreme. I worry more about Winston’s overall athleticism, but the same concerns were voiced about Brady, Brees, and Rodgers.

  34. Mayock trying to drum up ratings for their lame TV show called the draft. Anybody with half a brain who’s honest when breaking down the 22 of this last year would tell you expecting 2 true freshmen to be where they were supposed to be all the time, replacing two 1000 yard receivers from the year before, had a lot more to do with the number of interceptions he had. His coach said 5 were on his bad reads this year.

    Ever since this guy was clearly shilling for Blaine Gabbert, you know that colossal bust that all of us saw coming except him and other media heads that were apparently doing his agent a solid, leading up to that draft, I lost all respect for anything he has to say.

  35. Yes Mariota fumbled 27 times across 3 seasons on 337 rushing attempts losing 11. He also threw 14 int’s on 1167 attempts.

    By contrast, with only 145 rushing attempts Winston fumbled a total of 13 times in 2 seasons and lost 4. In just 851 attempts he threw 28 int’s.

    So across 41 total games started Mariota had 1,504 attempts at either throwing or running leading to 25 turnovers. Across 27 games Winston had 996 attempts and had 32.

    I don’t know but I think that would point to what Mayock is saying here. Coupled with the off-field and the loss of composure in the Oregon game I’d say the questions are real.

  36. So not only did he regress between his first and second years, but he also threw 18 INTs last year against vanilla college defenses? Yikes — how does anyone expect him to perform against defenses that are going to try to confuse the heck out of him?

    For comparison of former FSU QBs in their final years at FSU:

    EJ Manuel: 387 attempts, 68% completion rate, 3,392 yards, 23 TDs, 10 INTs, 310 rushing yards, 4 rushing TDs

    Jameis Winston: 467 attempts, 65% completion rate, 3,907 yards, 25 TDs, 18 INTs, 65 rush yards, 3 rushing TDs

    With those kinds of numbers, the only person I’d expect to draft Winston in the first round is Doug Marrone. And he’s no longer a head coach for a reason.

  37. Credibility is important when listening to someone’s pre-draft evaluations. Can you please print Mayock’s pre-draft evaluations of RG3 and Trent Richardson. I mean these are at least $50 million decisions

  38. For those that question Winston’s football knowledge, Google him with Steve Mariucci. A lot of those interceptions in 2014 were not his fault as another commenter said so that doesn’t concern me. I would love to see the Bucs draft him, but I worry that unless they upgrade their oline he’ll be set up for defeat from the get go. He would have some good offensive weapons though. Not really worried about off field “issues”. He wasn’t charged with a crime and was punished appropriately for the crab leg incident. Was OVERPUNISHED for using profanity. Seriously who gets suspended for a game for being a college kid saying something vulgar? Immature, yes, but if the other bonehead FSU students didn’t post it all over social media no one would have even known.

  39. Oh the replacing WR’s point is fair for Winston because Mariota didn’t have to deal with losing Josh Huff, Daryl Hawkins and Colt Lyerla plus losing his TE in November, his all Pac-12 WR Addison in the spring….

  40. I’m still curious about those point-shaving accusations that were being made about him and his old high school buddy. Are they still investigating that? I remember seeing screenshots of their texts…it might explain some of the interceptions.

  41. Some of you guys are just hilarious. Many of the same ones who touted Manziel are the same ones calling Wilson a midget and are now dogging Winston.

    Don’t you see the irony of even printing your sure-fire opinion? Strong though it may be, it’s usually strongly wrong.

  42. tonebones says:

    Credibility is important when listening to someone’s pre-draft evaluations. Can you please print Mayock’s pre-draft evaluations of RG3 and Trent Richardson. I mean these are at least $50 million decisions

    ================================

    RG3 will have earned about $21m by the end of next year, not even close to $50m.

    Mayock said “he doesn’t throw with anticipation… he has great touch and accuracy. He has arm strength and athletic ability. He’s tough. … He’ll stay in and take hits. We all know he can run also.”

    I think RG3 is a complete dink but his tape from 2012 would indicate that Mayock’s scouting assessment was accurate.

  43. Every year the media hype for QBs. If you panned them instead you would have a much higher success rate. That said this guy is Dante Culpepper 2.

  44. His interview after his work out yesterday was a giant red flag for me. He actually said, with a perfectly straight face that he was a great guy with no off-the-field issues.

    He certainly didn’t sound like a guy that had learned much, if anything, from his mistakes.

  45. I don’t know how much I read into “character issues” with a kid who is 18, 19, 20 years old. With good leadership the kid can start making better choices. I forgot we all troll PFT every day while working our jobs because we made great choices at 18, 19, 20. If I am the Bucs I am rolling the dice on the most talented QB.

  46. lovie smith an excellent defensive coach , should take DT leonard williams with the 1st overall pick. then take hundley in the 3rd rd to play qb.

  47. Mariota losing the players he lost doesn’t mean much at all in the context of the offense they run. Not anywhere close to an apples to apples comparison.

    Oregon doesn’t have an offense requring anticipation throwing where it can be incredibly deadly if the WR does not make his break at the right point / run his route correctly.

    And back to turnovers; again; it historically means pretty much nothing.

    If anything; and this sounds crazy; but most of the top NFL QBs threw a lot of interceptions in college (10+ a year for most). Likely because they were taking a lot of chances and trying to make big time type NFL throws.

    Guys like Tebow, Kaepernick, Alex Smith, Mark Sanchez; etc didn’t throw many picks in college.

    However, guys like Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisburger, all threw a lot of picks in college.

    Ryan & Brees had 19 and 20 in single seasons. Most of all the elite QBs averaged at least 10 interceptions a year in college.

    And once again; last year FSU did not play mediocre defenses. They were some of the top ranked defenses in the nation if you look it up. Boston College (11), Louiseville (6), Miami (14), Florida (15), is not “mediocre” competition. A couple others were basically in the top 30-40; and Clemson was #1 but Winston didn’t play that game

  48. lordcornelius,

    A good breakdown that gives excellent perspective regarding the interception issue.

    I appreciate Mike Mayock’s take on draftees. His experience in scouting is formidable.

    But, like everyone else, from GMs to Coaches to his own peers in the business, he can get it wrong, too.

  49. Please………………………..

    If everyone put on their thinking caps, you’ll remember that Luck threw a ton of picks his final season at Stanford. Why? Because he was all that team had left from the previous season.

    And if you look at Florida St. last year, Winston was in the same situation. He was forcing a lot of passes to carry the team because the team was clearly not as talented as the one that won the national championship.

    Stop making up stuff about Winston on the field.

  50. Also, I’ve said on this topic many times, check Matt Ryan’s and Dan Marino’s int totals their last year in college. They did okay. All I’d be worried about is if he knows where to go with the football, that he understands what defenses are trying to do presnap, and if he makes players around him better. He checks all those boxes. Like somebody else said, I’d be more worried that it’s Tampa, and the offensive line as currently constructed is a joke.

  51. If the Bucs pick him the biggest thing I want to see is how he is going to react when they lose game after game … For some reason I doubt he will handle it well …

  52. tbrucemom says:
    Apr 2, 2015 2:55 PM
    “Immature, yes, but if the other bonehead FSU students didn’t post it all over social media no one would have even known.”

    So you’re suggesting they draft an immature kid who isn’t smart enough to know that, in today’s world, as the face of his university, EVERYONE is watching and EVERYONE has a cell phone with video?

    Sounds like a smart move to me.

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