ESPN keeps coming up with these handy ask-your-beat-writers questions which I can turn into posts for Bucs Nation. So kind of them. The latest: asking every beat writer who the rising star in each division is.
All four of ESPN’s beat writers named a Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, but not all four named Jameis Winston. Mike Triplett, the New Orleans Saints beat writer, went with Mike Evans — mostly because he thought Winston had been discussed enough already, because it seems unlikely that Evans will be a superstar while Winston won’t. Those two probably go hand-in-hand. All three other beat writers did name Winston.
Of course, the fact that Winston is the rising star is basically undisputed. Drew Brees is nearing the end, Matt Ryan seems to have plateaud, while Cam Newton and Julio Jones have well and truly arrived. Few other players are likely to join the ranks of stars in the near future, or could even be considered that. While the division certainly has plenty of quality players, that’s not quite the same thing as being a star.
Winston will rule this division at some point in the future, unless Cam Newton stands in his way. That’ll be the future, with Matt Ryan seemingly relegated to the background even if he’s still a pretty good quarterback — he lacks the star power of Winston and Newton. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out in the future. Rarely are star quarterbacks in the same division, and usually one of them will overshadow the other. Speaking purely in terms of star power, will Winston ever be able to surpass Newton?