In our draft grade post from last night Gur gave the Buccaneers a B+, while you folks overwhelmingly gave the Bucs an A-A+. That very positive assessment of Winston as a draft pick was not widely shared among draft analysts, apparently. Still, it's kind of hard to see how you ding the Buccaneers too badly -- after all, what else were they going to do? They needed a franchise quarterback, and they got one.
The Bucs could have picked Marcus Mariota, but that decision hinges mostly on how they evaluated Winston's off-field concerns. The Bucs thought they could trust Winston. Others think they can't -- but it's tough to evaluate this properly without speaking to at least a fraction of the people the Bucs have spoken to. In terms of the on-field evaluation, there are some who would have Mariota ahead of Winston, but the difference is often small.
Despite that, several analysts gave the Bucs a C -- just barely a passing grade. Of course, draft grades are kind of silly this early after the selection: they're basically telling people how well a selection agrees with commonly accepted wisdom, not how well the player will actually do. For that, we'll just have to wait and see.
The obvious choice happened, and it's what the Buccaneers needed to do. The team has never had a franchise quarterback, and Winston has a chance to be that player. He's a classic pocket passer with size and arm strength. From a football intelligence standpoint, he's ready to go. But there is some risk because he'll throw the ball into double coverage or fail to recognize defensive backs underneath. You also can't totally ignore Winston's off-field transgressions.
The Bucs had months to figure out what they wanted to with the top pick, and to nobody's surprise, they grabbed Winston. He should do well in a Tampa Bay uniform, but he isn't the top player in the draft, and some analysts believe he isn't the top quarterback. There are obvious off-the-field issues, but the Bucs have a new leader under center, and a pretty good one to boot.
With the first pick in the 2015 NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. The former Heisman Trophy winner could take the Bucs into a new stratosphere if he can keep his head straight.
If you are scouting honestly, Winston gets a B or C for on-field decision-making, a charitable B or C for character, and a B for pure athleticism. Yes, he has some A-pluses, but the Buccaneers just made him the valedictorian.
Winston can rise to this occasion. But everyone from fans to Lovie to Jameis must accept that there is a great deal of rising that must be done.
As in we'll see. It's hard to mess up the first pick, but the Bucs might have just done it. They took the wrong QB.
I don't think Winston is in the Andrew Luck class, but he is the best quarterback in this draft and Tampa Bay had to take him. It is the right move for the Bucs at No. 1 overall.