Jameis Winston Will Be The No. 1 Overall Pick — In 2016
Jameis Winston is lovable on the football field. He's no Johnny Football (last year, my grandfather texted me every Saturday to ask what channel "#2" is on) -- but Winston is fun to watch. The moment the Florida State quarterback steps on a podium, however, the world is reminded he's 20 years old -- or rather, just an infant.
It's unfair how much attention and scrutiny college football players get. But that's what they signed up for. And life's a shit sandwich for people who stand on a table and scream, "Fuck her right in the pussy." I'm not pointing any fingers, but...
His antics have created doubt about his draft status. Patience everyone. He'll go No. 1 overall, because he's that talented. It's just that everyone will have to wait until 2016.
Since winning the National Championship and the Heisman Trophy, Winston hasn't made things easy on himself. He's having trouble handling the media attention, and he's throwing too many interceptions. When a player like Winston has so much success, it's hard to top it the following year. And it seems like he thinks he needs to exceed his 2013 stats, even though he's got less talent around him. So he has been forcing passes -- particularly in the Oklahoma State game -- and he's on pace for almost 15 interceptions this season. He threw 10 interceptions last season. In the games when he threw a pick, FSU ended up winning by 14 or more -- usually way more. It seemed like he was just getting lazy in blowout wins. Because he won the games anyway, he wasn't forced to take accountability for his actions. See where I'm going?
The 2015 season will be Winston's time for maturation. He's going to have to take accountability on and off the field. This Florida State team clearly can't wreck everyone like in 2013. Thus, Winston will have to find a sweet spot, where he carries the team to the degree that he can manage, while also relying upon help from his teammates. If he wants to impress NFL scouts, he'll put it together off the field, too. That means no more stealing crab legs, no more blaming internet memes and most important, no more involvement in sexual assault scandals.
At the end of this season, Florida State will not have won a National Champion. They probably won't even make the College Playoffs. They are on the cusp of losing most weeks in 2014, and that can only go on for so long until they do, in fact, lose a game. If he can show leadership and maturity in times of adversity, in times where FSU loses, then the NFL will embrace him with open arms. So it would be easy for Winston to leave FSU and get a fat paycheck, instead of continuing the NCAA quarterback internship. But he said that he's going to stick around in Tallahassee. I believe him.
Mel Kiper Jr. can write all he wants that Winston has fallen out of the Top 10 or 20 prospects, because of his behavior. A talent like Winston won't fall out of the Top 5. Teams would probably be willing to pull off a RG3-esk trade to get either Winston or Oregon's Marcus Mariota. But it sounds like the 2015 NFL Draft won't involve Winston.
He'll go back to school. Pundits, like Kiper, who criticized Winston will change their tune and say that he's making a mistake by not declaring for the 2015 draft. Crazy things will happen between now and 2016. Winston's draft stock will continue to shift, but it will trend upwards. Even when Sam Bradford got hurt during his return to Oklahoma, he went first overall. Jake Locker was a a potential first overall pick. Then he returned to Washington, where he sucked, and he still went in the Top 10 the following year. Winton is worlds ahead of where Locker was. FSU's stud will go No. 1 overall to a quarterback needy team. It's just that he's going to wait two years to do it.
Photo via Getty
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