Sean Payton: Jameis Winston would have graded “extremely well” in 2020 draft class

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There is no tanking in the NFL. Unless there is. . . .

Saints coach Sean Payton hasn’t forgotten the 2014 regular-season finale when the Buccaneers blew a 20-7 fourth-quarter lead after pulling many starters at halftime and most by the start of the fourth quarter. The Saints won 23-20, allowing Tampa Bay to secure the No. 1 overall pick.

The Buccaneers used the first choice on Jameis Winston, who recently signed with the Saints as a free agent after five seasons in Tampa.

“I’m excited to work with him. I know our coaching staff is,” Payton said on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore. “When you go through this process, sometimes and you’re looking at the draft, for instance, and you’re spending a lot of time on each position of the draft, and then you say, ‘Well, throw Winston into this draft,’ because we all can remember him coming out. I was there at his pro day. I sat right literally 5 yards behind him as he threw 80-something, 90-something passes. How would he grade? I think he’d fare extremely well in this class, in a number of classes, enough to where someone thought that much of him where they selected him the first pick of the draft. Heck, they lost the game on purpose to us at the end of the season prior with Lovie Smith. They forced Lovie to take his starters out of the game, so they could get the one spot to draft Jameis.”

Winston, 26, threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions last season.

He signed a one-year deal with the Saints to backup Drew Brees, with Taysom Hill continuing in his role as the jack of all skill positions.

“We’re excited to work with him,” Payton said of Winston. “He’s a young player. He’s 26 years old, I believe, and I know he’s got great work ethic, and I know he’s competitive. So we’ll see how that unfolds, but we’re excited that he’s joined our team, and that he’s going to help be a part of what we’re trying to accomplish.”

7 responses to “Sean Payton: Jameis Winston would have graded “extremely well” in 2020 draft class

  1. He was a huge mistake and it cost the Bucs 5 painfully long years…
    He chokes in the heat of the game and continues to make rookie mistakes..
    Many have celebrated ever since the Bucs dropped him..
    Good luck with all that.. his antics are all yours now.. Thank God!

  2. I think that Sammy Baugh and John Elway would have graded extremely well in the 2020 draft class.

  3. I mean… what even is the point of saying something like this?

    Your draft grade is based on what you did in college. He was good in college, that’s why he got drafted #1. Of course, he would grade good if he was coming out hypothetically this year. It’s only been 5 years. Not like in 5 years the QB position changes so much he’d be a 4th round pick.

    Doesn’t mean he’ll be good now because Payton thinks he’d still grade good. He graded good the first time and it didn’t work out

  4. glad you got him, now dig out your crying towel and get ready for the excuses which there will be a new one each week

  5. If Payton can get Jameis to make better decisions with the ball and cut down on his turnovers he could be very good. However, Next Gen stats on Jameis’ turnovers are worse then his 30 turnovers. Next Gen stats look at all of a QB’s passes. When a QB hits a receiver in the hands and the ball pops up and is intercepted, that is not counted as an INT because the QB did his part. They also look at balls that bounce off the hands of the DB that should have been intercepted and count those as interceptions. Jameis under this system should have had 40 INTs last year instead of 30. Jameis is still relatively young at 26 and has a lot of talent.
    Vinny Testaverde was in a similar situation to Winston. Heisman Trophy Winner and first overall pick in the NFL Draft both by Tampa Bay. Testaverde still holds the record for most INTs in a season with 35 and most career losses with 123. Vinny was picked up by Bill Parcells who helped salvage his career. Parcells studied the film on Vinny and looked at what he did well and what he didn’t. He revised the playbook to use Vinny’s strengths and not try to have him make throws that were low percentage for him. Parcells made Testaverde a serviceable QB and saved his career which lasted 21 seasons in the NFL.
    Payton may be able to do the same for Winston.

  6. “I mean… what even is the point of saying something like this?

    Your draft grade is based on what you did in college. He was good in college, that’s why he got drafted #1. Of course, he would grade good if he was coming out hypothetically this year. It’s only been 5 years. Not like in 5 years the QB position changes so much he’d be a 4th round pick.

    Doesn’t mean he’ll be good now because Payton thinks he’d still grade good. He graded good the first time and it didn’t work out”

    —————————————

    I think the point is that in picking between the choices of drafting a QB this year (and holding him for four to five years) and signing Jameis Winston for one, Payton is not losing much. He’s right in that Winston would grade well in any draft due to his physical abilities, but Payton is trusting himself (as any coach does with any prospect, even if he’s not as iffy as we’ve confirmed Winston to be at this point) to limit his mistakes through coaching and scheming. With a draft pick Payton would taking that risk anyway and having coach him into NFL shape.

    So, by signing Winston, Payton is saying that he will get that potential without having to spend a draft pick, and more importantly, not be attached for four to five years if he wants to move on. Winston also is familiar with the pace of the NFL. Despite the disappointments in his career, there will not be time acclimating to the speed of the players or jitters starting if he has to. The only thing that may affect that is his better vision after LASIK, and that may end up helping him. We’ll see about that one.

    To reiterate, Payton is saying this because he’s answering why he signed Winston instead of just drafting another quarterback this year. And likely also the natural urge to talk guys that you’ve signed.

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