ESPN came out with a big feature story on Jameis Winston today. Kurt Streeter spent the lead-up to the draft with the Florida State quarterback, and decided to focus on Winston's personality: his cockiness, arrogance or fun-loving confidence -- depending on which person you ask. His immaturity, how he handles the attention and how other people see him. And of course, the rape accusation.
Basically, all the things that don't affect whether a quarterback can actually play football, but all the things we spend ages discussing -- because people see a person and form instant opinions on the kind of person they are.
The focus on Winston's personality has always struck me as useless. I generally dislike speaking about people's personalities -- so much of it is just confirmation bias. You're allowed to like or dislike whatever you see from what someone puts out there, but when that gets tied into some fanciful explanation for on-field performance it turns into nonsense. "I don't like his personality" is a very different thing from "his personality will stop him from being a good quarterback." That is not how you sensibly talk about draft prospects.
Still, that lengthy article is worth a read -- if only so you get a sense for the kinds of narratives people tell themselves and each other about a 21-year old's true character.
In addition, Jameis Winston will be on Draft Academy tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. You can catch the teaser above.