There are a ton of labels you can attach to Jamies Winston and although they are contradictory every one of them is true. Competitor, Heisman Trophy winner, National Champion, team leader, field general, shoplifter, accused point shaver, defendant, womanizer and indiscriminate are all adjectives Winston has rightfully collected over his two-year college career.
But it’s Jameis Winston’s latest label that has NFL teams buzzing.
NFL draft prospect.
Florida State’s Heisman winning signal caller declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft today after his sophomore season bringing to an end a very controversial run as the Seminoles quarterback. Winston said in a statement:
"After weighing this decision with my family and friends, I have decided to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft and forgo my remaining eligibility at Florida State,” Winston said in the statement. “I reached this very difficult decision after careful consideration and long thought, realizing how difficult it would be to say goodbye to my family at Florida State. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to wear the garnet and gold and have greatly enjoyed my time as a Seminole, both as an athlete and a student in the classroom.”"
The controversy surrounding Jameis Winston is well documented, this post is not going to review his dirty laundry list of indiscretions. However considering all that has transpired in the last couple of seasons, it is fair to ask whether NFL teams could or should overlook his dubious past. If you were an NFL General Manager would you select Jameis Winston and if so how far would Winston have to fall before you felt comfortable investing a pick on the embattled quarterback?
ESPN Draft expert Todd McShay is resolute when assessing Winston’s talent calling him the best QB prospect in the draft.
"“[Florida State quarterback] Jameis Winston, to me, is the better prospect,” McShay said. “Marcus Mariota is still a very good prospect but needs developing. They both have a chance to be great. But they both come with red flags. Winston’s red flags are off the field.”"
Draft Guru Mel Kiper has Winston ranked as the second best QB in the draft just behind reigning Heisman trophy Marcus Mariotta.
Winston’s ability is unquestioned and if talent was the only factor he would probably be the first overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2015 draft. But with unresolved legal issues and a history of poor judgement is Winston worth the risk in today’s PR conscious NFL?
Right or wrong, that is the question that could cause Winston to drop in the draft. So with an obvious need at quarterback would it be wise for the Arizona Cardinals to draft Jameis Winston and run the risk of him self-destructing?
Winston may very well be worth the risk. Every year there is a player that drops in the draft because of a perceived character flaw that scares prospective teams away. Plenty of players with questionable pasts have made good once they have been drafted by the NFL. Randy Moss is a prime example. However there are also plenty of examples of talented players unable to cope with the fortune and fame that comes with being a high draft pick (Pac-man Jones).
Whether Jameis Winston becomes Randy Moss or Pac-man Jones remains to be seen but the fact of the matter is that we will not find out until he exposed to fame of being an NFL player.
All indications are that Winston has the talent to be a great quarterback in the league. Can the Cardinals afford to pass on him if he falls into the late first round?
Tell us what you think. Would you take the risk?
Answer our poll and comment below.