Some folks out there think Pro Football Focus really hates the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, given that they tend to write off Bucs players who play well. Of course, there’s fans of every team who think analysts hate their teams, and it’s never really true: when you’re an extensive outfit covering 32 teams, there’s no time to be a hater. There is, of course, plenty of time to be wrong.
Here’s some proof that Sam Monson of PFF doesn’t hate the Bucs: he thinks Jameis Winston will be one of the 101 best players in the NFL before long. Monson listed ten players under 25 who he thought were ready to make the list. Winston was the third name on the list, and the only listed quarterback.
Jameis Winston is another player whose game has been all about highs and lows. Good Winston put in some outstanding games as a rookie, but his opening-day performance was the single-worst grade we gave any quarterback during the regular season, and he ended the year with a poor performance against an excellent Carolina defense in the Bucs’ final game. Overall, I think the balance was far more positive than negative, but the bad games were enough to keep him off the list as a rookie. If he takes a step forward in year two, or just avoids any disastrous games, then he should make the list.
PFF’s list of the 101 best players in the NFL right now featured just one Buc in Gerald McCoy, which is pretty jarring. But PFF is very much focused on the recent, and a few Bucs stars made a few too many bad plays last year, so it is, at least, something one can rationalize.
As for Winston, if he continues to grow, he shouldn’t just make the Top 101 list, he should start making Top 10 lists. That’s how good Winston can be. Here’s to hoping he actually gets there.