Jameis Winston is certainly a polarizing college quarterback, but the numerous legal and discipline problems might set him back. He’s almost certainly going to go pro, I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t, but will his problems get in the way of him being a top prospect? The Heisman-ites already said that all the incidents he’s caused will disallow him from winning the trophy, so…what else will go wrong?
Here are the teams I see getting him, and when.
Jets – First round – The Jets are 1-7 right now following a 6 turnover performance against the Bills, and it begs the question: how high are the Jets going to be in the draft? They have the vacant stare of a team that looks like it’s going to win 4 games if they’re lucky, against a tough schedule due to finishing second in the AFC East in 2013. The Jets don’t have very patient or intelligent draft staff, so if they have an early pick (and as bad of a quarterback problem as they have), I think New York will very easily and willingly jump on the chance to draft Winston.
Bills – Late first round – The Bills look like a playoff team right now. Not a strong one, but a playoff team. Kyle Orton is just about as far off a playoff-winning quarterback as you can get, but the Bills have a very young, feisty team around him. If the Bills can snag Winston in either the first round (I’m expecting them to have a pick around the early to mid 20s), I think the move could greatly pay off and we could start expecting to see the Bills as a contender in the AFC East.
Buccaneers – First round – The Bucs are a train wreck. No beating around the bush. They’re the worst team in the NFL in my opinion, and even though they maybe have the talent to win another game or two, they’ll be picking in the Top 3 next year, I guarantee it. The quarterback tandem of Mike Glennon and Josh McCown wouldn’t work for any team, not even the Patriots. Tampa Bay desperately needs to do something about their quarterbacks, and there are lots of bright prospects next year. Marcus Mariota could be an option, but if he’s not available, Winston might be their go-to guy.
Houston – Wherever their pick falls – Houston definitely looks better than last year, that’s true, but Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t going to take your team to the playoffs, let alone win in them. It’s time to drop the “Fear the Beard” crap and put your money towards a bright college prospect, like Winston. If Winston falls to Houston’s pick (which will probably be in the late teens), they would happily draft him. Fitzpatrick is more of a short-term solution, and if they can secure a consistent quarterback to go along with Arian Foster and their young, offense-ruining defense, Houston could be a definite AFC South/playoff contender. Just give them a few years.
Chiefs – Second round – Hear me out on this one. The Chiefs may have Alex Smith, sure, but he’s a mediocre guy who has some miles on him. Jamaal Charles carries him, and they haven’t sunk in the big bucks for him to be their franchise guy. However, the Chiefs would by no means take Winston in the first round, so if his “issues” make him slide to the second round, I think the Chiefs would snag him and walk home happy.
In the “We’d love to draft him, but we pay our crappy quarterback too much money” club:
Chicago – Jay Cutler
St. Louis – Sam Bradford
Washington: Robert Griffin III
Tennessee – Jake Locker