Why Jameis Winston Could Be The 1st Pick in The 2015 NFL Draft
On Wednesday, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston announced that he would be leaving the Seminoles to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. The news did not come as a shock to most people, but immediately the question begin to be raised of whether or not he will be an NFL success or bust?
Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, became only the second player ever to win the award as a freshman. He joined former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who won the award the year before Winston in 2012, as the only freshman to win the award.
Winston not only won the 2013 Heisman Trophy, but more impressively led the Seminoles to the 2013 national championship and brought his team back in dramatic fashion against the Auburn Tigers. He threw the game winning pass with 13 seconds remaining to Kelvin Benjamin to help Florida State capture their first national title since the 1999 season.
Winston looked anything but a freshman in 2013 based on his poise on the field and incredible statics. Winston in 2013, his freshman season, went 257 for 384 passing with 4,057 yards. His completion percentage came out to an amazing 66.9 percent, which for a freshman is a great feat.
Winston has also had his fare share of off the field issues that have been well documented. It seemed every other week some new story was breaking about Winston, but somehow he maintained his focus and led Florida State to a national title in 2013 and 13 straight wins in 2014.
Winston in 2014 wasn’t nearly as effective as he was his freshman season in 2013. He was one of the most mistake prone quarterbacks in all of the FBS. He was towards the bottom of the FBS in interceptions and just made poor decisions that he didn’t even seem to make as a freshman.
Winston, despite the turnover issues, led Florida State to a perfect 12-0 regular season. He capped it off by winning another ACC title with a narrow victory over Georgia Tech. This put the Seminoles in the first annual College Football Playoff as the three seed.
Florida State was forced to face the high octane offensive team known as the Oregon Ducks in Pasadena, California. The historic Rose Bowl, the same place Florida State won the 2013 national title, was host to one of the best quarterback matchups in recent memories.
The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston, against the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota of Oregon was the headline that grabbed all the attention leading up to the game. It didn’t live up to the hype as the Oregon Ducks defeated Florida State 59-20.
It was the first loss of Winston’s career after winning his first 26 straight games as a starter. Winston once again had issues with turnovers and it eventually led to the demise of Florida State’s season and Winston’s perfect career record.
Now, I bring this full circle to discuss the issue of whether he will be the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft? The number one pick in the 2015 NFL Draft is held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers appear to be an ideal destination for Winston for a couple of reasons, but will it happen?
The Buccaneers play in Tampa Bay, obviously in Florida, which could be a perfect draw for fans being that Winston played at Florida State. He would draw that section of Florida State fans that reside in or around the Tampa Bay area.
He would help improve the team’s attendance, which has been decreasing the past several seasons. This could work both ways in that there could be a section of people who despise Winston and his off the field issues, but also the section of fans that love him for his confidence and winning ways at Florida State.
This could be one of the main reasons the Buccaneers look to draft Winston with that first pick in this year’s draft.
The next reason is for the fact the Tampa hasn’t had a stable quarterback in years. The Bucs thought they had found their franchise quarterback a few years back with Josh Freeman. The experiment worked for a while, but they saw that he wouldn’t lead them to long term success.
The decision to draft Winston would be a franchise changing move and to invest a first pick on a quarterback means you think that quarterback you are selecting will be a franchise quarterback. This will be the tough decision for Tampa Bay to make and one that they will certainly be pressured to bite on by some people.
Winston could be a lock for the first pick to the Buccaneers if this was a process based on talent, but unfortunately for Winston he will have to answer to his multiple off the field issues. This is a big thing in the NFL today, especially because of all the scandals of domestic abuse that has tarnished the NFL during the 2014 season.
Winston could be the NFL’s worst nightmare if he acts like he did in college, but everyone deserves a second chance and he could get that in the NFL. The reality is, if you can play and lead a team to wins then you will be a hot commodity and Winston certainly has the capability of leading teams to victory.
It is unclear whether the Buccaneers will seriously consider taking Winston with that first pick, but if they do so, it could be a homerun waiting on deck.