2015 NFL Draft: Jameis Winston May Be Top Prospect, But A Longshot For No. 1

By Rick Stavig
Jameis Winston, 2015 NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Who will go number one overall in the 2015 NFL Draft? Based purely on physical skills, the choice is easy. But physical skills are only half the equation in evaluating a prospect, especially one who plays the most high profile position in sports. Intelligence, decision-making, responsibility and accountability also have a heavy hand in determining whether a prospect is a boom or a bust.

With that said, it should go without saying that reigning Heisman Trophy-winning QB Jameis Winston (Florida State) has the best physical skill set of any prospect eligible for the 2015 draft. Quick résumé: 6-foot 4, 230-pounds, impressive arm strength and accuracy, good mobility but a pocket-first mentality, won the Heisman and led his team to a National Championship while throwing for more than 4,000 yards with an impressive 40/10 TD to INT ratio. That sounds like a franchise QB and a potential number one overall prospect for the NFL Draft. Only, it might not be so.

The day before giving one of the more unintelligible Heisman Trophy acceptance speeches, Winston offered a rather perspicacious thought in an interview on his current legal situation and the spotlight the award brings. Said Winston: “Everything I do and [how] I carry myself is a form of character”. Interesting thought.

While Winston has been a head coach’s dream on the field, he’s been a nightmare off it.

First he was allegedly involved in a BB gun battle that resulted in numerous broken windows, and not long after accused of stealing soda from a Burger King. Two things you don’t want to see in a top pick, but nothing major.

Then the bombshell hits during his record-breaking season, and Winston is accused of rape. Yeah, that’s sort-of-kind-of a huge deal. Definitely not want you want in the leader of your football team (much less in anybody), but Winston was let off because the state’s attorney (ironically a big time FSU alum) said that there wasn’t enough evidence for conviction, thus wouldn’t be prosecuted. Franchise QB? Potential top pick overall?

Finally, the star QB and face of college football, the one who’d been under the microscope for months on end, walked into a grocery store and stole $32 worth of crab legs. The level of stupidity in this is so flabbergasting it’s not even worth going into.

The number one overall pick? How can a team trust him? How can a team invest millions upon millions of dollars (and an invaluable draft pick) on such a headache prospect? This wasn’t just a single isolated incident, it’s numerous, ranging from laughable to deplorable.

Does a team want to sell his image and reputation to fans and kids across the globe? What kind of role model is he? True franchise QBs don’t create problems like this off the field. Can you imagine Peyton Manning embroiled in a rape scandal? Can you see Russell Wilson stealing soda or crab legs? No, because that’s not what franchise QBs do.

Plus, what happens if/when he gets arrested again? Will Roger Goodell be as lenient or flexible with the star as the state’s attorney? Get real. Goodell suspended QB Terrell Pryor five NFL games for getting free tattoos in college, before he was even an NFL employee.

No one can deny he’s got the skills to be an elite NFL signal caller. But like I said earlier, the physical skills are only half the equation.

“Everything I do and [how] I carry myself is a form of character”. That’s either a bold faced lie or the most factual thing he’s every said. Despite his intelligent play on the field his actions off it sing a different tune, leading us to the conclusion that he’s either incredibly unintelligent or a habitual criminal, and neither are characteristics of franchise QBs.

NFL teams are paying close attention to all of this and unless he becomes a saint off the field while continuing his dominance on it, there’s no way he’ll go number one next year.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on Google+.


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