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Draft Prospect Profile: Florida State QB Jameis Winston


Strong-armed with the ability to feel the pass rush in the pocket and power through tacklers for extra yards when he keeps the football, Winston checks off all the boxes in what is required from a young pro quarterback in terms of his skill set.

But there are flaws, beyond the well-discussed off-field discipline issues and his legal entanglements.

Although he displayed a strong capacity to rally the Seminoles, he often threw interceptions in clusters, compounding one mistake with another. Last year, he had five multiple-interception games, including a four-INT game against Florida -- which included three first-quarter picks. He will need to do a better job of putting miscues behind him to avoid digging his team a hole from which it cannot escape.

His completion percentage dropped a bit (from 66.9 to 65.3 percent) from 2013 to 2014, and his interception rate spiked from one every 38.4 attempts to one every 25.9 last year. Losing Kelvin Benjamin, a first-round pick of the Panthers, did not help. But some of those interceptions were a product of his willingness to squeeze the ball through tight windows -- a trait that will serve him well through his NFL transition.



Concern about Winston's slow timed speed lasted about as long as it took for him to finish a Combine workout in which he looked commanding, smooth and complete an array of passes to wide receivers he'd just met.

At the Combine, he said all the right things. He addressed his off-field issues within seconds of stepping onto the dais in the media room, knowing he would face a fusillade of questions otherwise. But his issues away from the sport will remain a conversation topic. And by refusing to close the door on pursuing his dream of being a relief pitcher in Major League Baseball, his commitment to football will remain in question.

The risk-reward ratio might not be right for some teams picking atop the draft. But it could be acceptable for the Buccaneers, who sit in a division surrounded by franchise quarterbacks: New Orleans' Drew Brees, Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Carolina's Cam Newton. Tampa Bay needs one of its own.


Weight:231 pounds
Arm:32 inches (9th among 15 Combine QBs)
Hand:9 3/8 inches (10th among 15 Combine QBs)
40-yard dash:4.87 seconds (T-8th among 13 Combine QBs)
Vertical jump:34 inches (5th among 13 Combine QBs)
Broad jump:10 feet, 1 inch (T-3rd among 13 Combine QBs)
Three-cone drill:6.91 seconds (2nd among 12 Combine QBs)
Short shuttle:4.13 seconds (4th among 12 Combine QBs)

PROJECTION:No. 1-3 overall pick.

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