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Where Would Jameis Winston Go In The 2014 NFL Draft?

Submitted by on January 8, 2014 – 8:55 amNo Comment
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Can it get any better than this for Jameis Winston?

The freshman quarterback became the first freshman to win the coveted Heisman trophy and win a national championship in the same season. His numbers were remarkable. However, it was his poise under pressure and with his team down that really etched his legend in stone as his Florida State Seminoles upended the Auburn Tigers 34-31.

What can he possibly do for an encore?

This is where it gets tricky. If you’re cut from the cloth that believes in the nonsensical system that forces collegiate athletes to stay out of the NFL draft until they are three years removed from high school, you’ll probably hate this question. But if you look at Winston and wonder if he’s NFL ready, this is a great question.

Where would Jameis Winston go in the 2014 NFL Draft if he were to enter?

If you’re answer is that he’d go #1, then you have to wonder why in the hell there is this ridiculous rule that prevents him from entering the draft. I’m not sure what else he could possibly do to improve his standing. Sure, you can argue about his maturity, but he did just lead FSU to the championship as a freshman. If that doesn’t show leadership quality, I don’t know what does. Can he really get that much better playing in the ACC next season? The risk is bigger than the reward considering that if he suffers any type of injury, his stock will drop dramatically.

It’s a really bad place to be in for Winston. At 6’4″ and 228 pounds, Winston is already a big guy who has proven that he has what it takes to, at the very least, raise an eyebrow of an NFL team looking for a quarterback. Wouldn’t it make more sense to get drafted and take a season or two to learn the NFL system and compute the differences in game speed, instead of playing another two years in college? What can he possibly improve in the NCAA that he can’t learn on the bench and preseason of the NFL? Hell, he might be good enough to start for the Houston Texans next season.

But therein lies the problem. He’s stuck and prevented from entering the NFL draft to make a living. The NCAA will continue to make money off of Winston while he cannot (well, not without violating some NCAA rules along the way). He’s deserving of his opportunity if he wants to take it and NFL teams show interest.

If the draft were tomorrow, it would be hard to argue that he wouldn’t go in the top ten based on needs at quarterback.

If both Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and UCF’s Blake Bortles can be considered to go Top 5 (along with Johnny Manziel, but he’s won a Heisman already and proven a lot), why can’t Winston? He’s arguably the best talent out there. But, no, he’ll remain shackled by the NCAA and we’ll be left to wonder “What If?”

 

 

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