Jameis Winston is a potential top ten quarterback—ever. The expectation for this season should be for him to enter the top ten of current NFL quarterbacks in terms of production, but in the long-term he wants to be the best to ever play the game—a bit overambitious, perhaps, but Winston has the talent to get awfully close.
That’s what NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks sees on film too, saying that the Bucs quarterback is a “transcendent talent” who should get a “gold star” for his play with somewhat limited weapons (via Bucs Wire).
While he still throws too many picks (33 through his first two seasons), Winston has shown that he is a fearless anticipatory thrower capable of delivering darts into tight windows. He routinely connected with Mike Evans, Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate on hotly contested throws tossed at intermediate range. Without a deep threat to stretch the coverage last season or a legitimate running game to create one-on-one chances in the passing game, Winston was rarely able to string together completions on a handful of "gimme" throws outside of the numbers. Thus, he should earn a gold star for racking up spectacular production on challenging throws.
This isn’t news, of course: Winston was a first overall draft pick because of his stellar potential. He has everything he needs to be one of the best quarterbacks to play the game—there’s a reason why I keep comparing him to Brett Favre, after all.
That potential hasn’t quite been realised yet, though, and it’s always a question whether it will be. He’s certainly on the right track and if he fails it won’t be because of a failure to do the necessary work, as it was with Josh Freeman. The future looks very bright for Winston, but whether he’ll get close to his potential this year or a little further in the future remains to be seen.