Jameis Winston Is Finally Proving He's Mature, But For How Long?
"Famous Jameis" is the nickname some fans have coined for him in the past two years.
In the past year, he's been famous for more things than just football. His off-the-field troubles, which included a sexual conduct violation that almost ruined his career, have made a lot of NFL analysts question whether or not he's ready for the demands of the next level.
Fear not, Winston fans. This kid is ready.
Not only did he have an impressive NFL combine showing, but Winston also "sealed his number one pick" with an equally impressive pro day.
On that pro day, scouts got to see how he acted on and off the field. He performed well, delivering accurate passes in a pro-style offense, while other QB prospects worked in spread offenses. Scouts also took note of his calm demeanor when not competing.
As Rob Rang of CBS sports put it:
If the pressure of the moment was wearing on Winston, he certainly didn't show it.
Although his sophomore campaign was not as strong as his record-breaking freshman campaign, it's undeniable Winston is a competitor.
Let's not forget he fact that he led his team to a BCS national championship as a freshman, and a Rose Bowl as a sophomore.
Although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- the team with the first overall pick in the draft -- have claimed they aren't drafting Winston yet, ESPN and NFL analysts speculate Jameis will likely stay in Florida as a pro.
If you still have any doubts about the 21-year-old stud, his Wonderlic test score was just one point below Peyton Manning's, scoring a 27 out of 50.
But, the Wonderlic scores don't matter anymore, you might say.
Sure, the tests' relevance is dwindling; however, the test is still administered, acting as a standard for certain positions that require decisiveness, mainly the QB spot.
It assesses what knowledge the player has and what knowledge he can still gain.
And, if 27 out of 50 seems low, be sure to remember that a high Wonderlic score won't guarantee NFL success, either. Blaine Gabbert, who's had a rough career thus far, to say the least, scored a 42 out of 50.
The point is, everyone deserves a second chance. It's time to forgive Jameis for his antics off the field and give him a chance to prove himself.
There's no guarantee he won't be another Johnny Manziel, who's shown us that off-the-field stress can take a toll on young guys with a lot to prove.
But, whether or not you're a supporter of Famous Jameis, it would be terribly unfortunate to see another young talent like him crumble in the NFL.
So, with all this in mind, what exactly will make Jameis Winston a great player in the NFL?
Winston Has The Energy of a Leader
Winston's pro day, highlight films of the past two seasons, and his sit-in with Jon Gruden all attest to his leadership.
Buccaneer fans agree Jameis' charisma is what the team needs, not just in games, but practice too.
It seems Mike Glennon, current starting QB for the Bucs, just doesn't have that like Jameis does.
He Already Has Experience Handling The Media
Jameis is no stranger to press conferences, and all his issues in the past year have arguably made him much more savvy about media speculation and how to handle it like an adult.
"So many people try to dehumanize me," Winston said in an interview with ESPN The Magazine, and he has a point.
He might be young, but he knows fans look at him like a superhuman sometimes. His maturity in reminding us he isn't perfect certainly speaks volumes about his character.
He Performs When His Team Needs Him
Again, Jameis Winston's sophomore campaign was a bit sloppy. But, hey, he won games.
According to NFL.com, Winston led FSU to seven victories decided by six points or less in 2014. They finished 13-1.
Former Coach Jimbo Fisher stood up for Winston, acknowledging his interception totals and imperfections, but reassuring he is a clutch player.
Looking at the numbers, you have to believe Fisher. His game-winning drives following interceptions exalt him in his draft standing.
These teams at the top of the NFL draft, mainly the Bucs and the Titans, need a winner. Interceptions and decisions aside, Jameis is a winner, whether you like him or not.