Since taking Jameis Winston with the first overall pick in the draft, members of the Buccaneers organization haven’t been shy about offering up positive reviews of the rookie’s play in practice and robust predictions about his future as an NFL quarterback.
Winston’s center isn’t bucking those trends and Evan Smith is taking things even a little farther. Smith played for the Packers before he made his way to Tampa last season and while he acknowledges that Winston has yet to take a snap in a game yet, he’s still willing to cast a warm light on the rookie in a comparison with Aaron Rodgers.
“I’ve only been around two other quarterbacks,” Smith said, via Yahoo Sports. “I played with one who was really good. He reminds me of a very young version of him. … When I first got to Green Bay, you could see the talent there, you could see Aaron was starting to take off as a superstar. You can tell Jameis has that potential.”
Smith arrived in Green Bay in 2009, which was Rodgers’s second season as the team’s starter. It was also his fifth season overall and Rodgers got his first starts for a team that went to the NFC Championship game the previous season. Winston won’t get that kind of time to watch and learn before being thrust into the fire and he’s on a team that had the first overall pick last year, which are things to keep in mind in the likely event that Winston’s initial foray into the NFL is less successful than Rodgers’s first steps.