The week after the Super Bowl ends, the NFL switches gears. Pete Carroll’s botched play call gave way to the next chapter of the year-long season. The draft hype becomes real this time of year, and as it approaches it’s difficult not to be captivated by the big name players leaving their schools.
In this year’s draft, the quarterback stock is pretty weak. There are only two quarterbacks coming out this year that have the talent to get picked in the first round. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Florida State’s Jameis Winston are the only two quarterbacks projected to be selected in the first round.
The challenging part about drafting a quarterback in the first round is that the teams have no idea how the player will transition from college to the pro level. As of now on the majority of the mock draft boards, Jameis Winston is the favorite to get chosen with the number one overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jameis has the body and the arm to be successful in the NFL, but does he have the rest of the abilities to be a good professional quarterback?
One could argue that he does not. Factoring in off-field troubles is often a touchy subject with college players because people like to believe that they are still just kids that make mistakes. That argument is a cop-out to defend these players that do not deserve defending. Making the decision to play a collegiate sport at a division one college, comes with the responsibility of being in the limelight.
There is no excuse for Jameis stealing crab legs from a Publix or for yelling vulgar jokes in the middle of the Florida State campus. He should be smarter than that, and that is the problem that worries me about Jameis going number one overall. Does he have the right mindset and maturity to turn around an awful football team?
Veterans of the NFL have taken notice of Winston and commented on his issues off of the field. Veteran receiver Keyshawn Johnson had this to say in regards to Winston’s problems, “That has nothing to do with football. If I’m a general manager and drafting him, I’m looking at it from the football side”. From the football perspective, Jameis seems ready, now he has to hope that the Buccaneers organization has the same faith in him that Keyshawn Johnson showed.