Jameis Winston has the best pure arm talent and overall potential of any QB in this draft. The problem is he comes with a number of question marks, which are why there is less certainty that he will realize his potential.
When everything is going well and Winston can get in rhythm, he seems like he’s impossible to stop. He generally sees the field well and goes quickly through his progressions hitting his receivers across the field. He has displayed the ability to be an elite quarterback, and has a short memory when he makes a bad throw.
The concern with Winston is can he put it all together to be an elite quarterback. One of the bigger concerns is he mature enough to handle the spotlight and expectation that comes with being the top QB (or at worst top 2 QB) in the draft. He has a number of off the field issues that span from silly to extremely serious. Even if there isn’t a criminal concern, the fact that there are so many issues speaks to a pattern of behavior. Add in the fact there have been outbursts on the field, you have to at least wonder if he can handle the pressure.
If he checks out from the maturity/off the field concerns, there is still the very real question of whether his on the field performance will reach its potential. His interceptions and decision making this past year were very concerning. The next level is far less forgiving, so he might not have the chance to make up for the mistakes as he did in college.
While there is no doubt that Winston is a talented quarterback, he’s also been pretty protected overall given all the great talent on the FSU roster the last couple of years. At the next level not only is there greater parity, but he is likely to go to a team that is rebuilding and maybe doesn’t have all the pieces it needs yet to contend. How will Winston handle that adversity is a question that has to be on the mind of perspective teams.
Overall Winston is an extremely high upside/low floor player, even when you take the off the field stuff out of the equation. He’s going to need some support early on in his career and he may take a couple of years before he really plays up to his true potential.