Florida State Seminoles QB Jameis Winston is without a doubt the leader for the Heisman, and he’s also the best player in college football. Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon “Ah, I’ll wait for the draft” Clowney are excellent players and I certainly wouldn’t take issue with somebody ranking either- or both- of them above Winston, but I just believe that Winston’s level of play has been off the charts. And I don’t see this being a situation like Geno Smith’s last year where Winston tails off significantly. Yes, defenses will figure him out and throw more complex coverages at him, but Winston’s ability to break down coverages goes back to his days just learning the position as a youngster. Let’s just say that he isn’t your average freshman QB, though I’m sure most of us have figured that out by now.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted something interesting this morning; a scout told him that Jameis Winston is a “cross” between Pittsburgh Steelers star QB Ben Roethlisberger and former co-MVP Steve McNair. Winston’s ability to extend plays with his feet is similar to Roethlisberger’s, and he’s just as dangerous in those situations. Once Winston slips through the defense’s grasp (as he has done several times this year), he has the ability to beat most defenses vertically with excellent plays.
I don’t view Winston as a quarterback with truly exceptional arm strength, and it’s Winston’s accuracy that really impresses me. You have to disguise coverages against him, because he has the accuracy to get it into just about any window. In fact, it isn’t inconceivable to think that Winston will end up being a more accurate QB than either Big Ben or McNair. Those are two excellent QBs the scout has mentioned and it’s interesting to hear him use the word “cross”, but Winston’s insane accuracy deserves the most plaudits. Oh, and his poise. Not only is he mobile, but he also knows when to stay in the pocket and make the smart throw. Again, it’s sometimes hard to believe that the future No. 1 pick is just a redshirt freshman.