NFL Combine Review: QB Jameis Winston


A national-best 12 Florida State Seminoles were invited to this year’s NFL Combine. While some guys — Jameis Winston, Mario Edwards, PJ Williams — should have no problem going in the first half of the draft. Others needed a good showing this past weekend in Indianapolis to help bolster their draft stock and ensure they would hear their name called in Chicago this Spring.

Let’s take a look at how all 12 Seminoles fared this weekend.

Name: Jameis Winston
Position: QB
Height: 6-4
Weight: 231
Arms: 32″
Hands: 9 3/8″ Grade: 6.52 (Chance to Become Pro-Bowl Caliber Player)

ChopChat’s Notes: Florida State is a storied college football program, mostly for what Bobby Bowden did in Tallahassee in his 34 years, but before that Florida State was one of the first schools to really implement down-the-field vertical passing at the college level. Since then, FSU has won national titles and had three quarterbacks bring home Heisman trophies on the power of the passing game.

That being said, nobody — not in the entire history of FSU — has ever spun the ball like Winston did. The 6-4 QB was a revelation from the moment he walked on to the field at FSU. In his first year, as he was redshirting, he allegedly walked into his head coach’s office and told him, “with all due respect, I can run this offense better than EJ Manuel does.” Manuel ended up being a first round pick, but Winston was probably right.

The talented Alabama-native went 27-1 as a starter and won the 2013 Heisman trophy. Beyond that, Winston is just a straight-up gamer. He’s at his best when he needs to be. He’s the unquestioned leader of his team. He’s got an incredibly high mental IQ and he’s already proven he can run a pro-style offense at an elite level.

Yes, there are character questions. Expect plenty of attention to be paid to those in the coming months. Here’s the flip-side, it’s tough to show much more mental toughness than Winston has the past two years. For most, under the weight of sexual assault allegations and a nation witch-hunt, it would have been understandable to collapse, to implode. Winston never did. He just keep winning games.

If that didn’t phase him, what will? Winston has a very good chance to go first overall to Tampa.

Combine Results:

40 Time: 4.97
Vert Jump: 28.5″
Broad Jump: 103″
Three-Cone Drill: 7.16
Shuttle: 4.36

What They’re saying:


"Considered by scouting community to be advanced in ability to scan field and get through progressions. Has natural feel for throwing windows and anticipates openings that other college quarterbacks don’t see. Has height to see over offensive line and thickness of build to withstand NFL hits. Big arm by NFL standards. Gets full extension and follow through into throws with ability to drive ball into the seam in front of safeties. Can make all of the field-side throws teams need. Most teammates very trusting and protective of him, according to regional scouts. Aware in pocket, but not overly jittery. Good feel for edge pressure and steps up into pocket while continuing his scan. When pressure mounts, so does his focus. Shows faith in his wide receivers and willing to go right back to them after a drop. Strong lower body and able to shake free of some would-be sacks and get rid of the ball. Fierce competitor and unafraid of mistakes. Shows above-average football character. Will make throws and take chances others won’t, which can be a special trait if properly harnessed."


"Decision making not consistent with his football intelligence. Will throw into impossible windows rather than taking safe throw underneath. Elongated windup and release allows instinctive defenders to close on throws. Was too easily baited into dangerous throws. Struggled with intermediate passing game in 2014, completing 56.8 percent of his passes with FBS-leading 11 interceptions in that range. Still learning nuances of position and how to move and hold defenders with his eyes. Would sleepwalk through first half of many games. Inconsistent footwork and weight transfer caused balls to sail. Prone to emotional outbursts on field. Quality of decision-making drops off substantially when pocket becomes turbulent and he’s forced to leave it. Lacks athleticism to extend plays for very long outside of the pocket. Off-the-field character and ability to lead on NFL level are his primary obstacles, according to NFL evaluators."

Sources Say:

"Jameis made the only decision he could (on leaving school early). He’s losing (Rashad) Greene, (Nick) O’Leary and four starters up front. Why come back with those guys all gone?” — NFC North scout"

NFL Comparison:

"Eli Manning"

Bottom Line:

"Winston is a big, highly competitive pocket passer who played in a pro-style offense and showed an ability to anticipate throwing windows, scan the entire field and make the NFL throws. His wind-up delivery and marginal mobility outside the pocket are reminiscent of Byron Leftwich, but his arm talent and issues with decision making are more in line with Eli Manning’s. Winston’s football potential is clearer than so-called “system” or “one-read” quarterbacks, but every stone must be overturned in an attempt to piece together a predictive character profile on Winston. Winston’s supreme confidence might be considered arrogance by some, but even that trait will be alluring to teams who need to find a franchise quarterback."