In an earlier piece I mentioned that I think in general the areas for caution related to Jameis Winston are: he played in a smallish number of college games, his interception rate spiked in 2014, and he played for a coach who is responsible for a decent number of draft bust QBs over the past 10 years.
But I also don’t think any of that means that Winston can’t be a good pro. Here’s a comp list I created using the same variables that I used for Marcus Mariota. I assumed the first overall pick for Winston.
Even though it’s true that Winston’s INT/G number is double Aaron Rodgers, you can at least say that Rodgers is the positive example for the QB that appears in a small number of college games. Andrew Luck’s name also appears on this list although again, Winston’s INT/G number exceeds Luck’s by a decent amount. But after those two names things get pretty thin for Winston’s comps. In fact the average draft position of these players was 65th, whereas Mariota’s group was 26th. It might be the case that Winston is going earlier than a player with his resume typically does.
I wouldn’t try to make the case that Winston is definitely going to be a bust. I just can’t have that much certainty about it. But I would propose the idea that there are reasons to be cautious. Also, to the extent that Winston does not have a running profile, that kind of limits the impact he can have on a game to what he can do from the pocket. I think the margin for error is smaller in Winston’s case than Mariota’s. Maybe the best thing going for Winston is that he’ll get to throw to Mike Evans and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins while all of them are young. Just being able to throw to one of the premier young receivers in the game could make Winston look good early. A similar situation did end up pretty much making Matthew Stafford’s career.
However, I think that without the rushing yards Winston isn’t the type of player I’ll end up owning right away in dynasty or re-draft. I tend to think that pocket passers will take longer to become fantasy relevant so there will be future opportunities to buy if Winston does pan out.