Jameis Winston, the presumed No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, held his Pro Day in front of NFL scouts on Tuesday.
The initial reaction from many was that it could have gone better.
Todd McShay of ESPN said he was “underwhelmed” by Winston’s performance, which included 102 passes. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports called it an “OK performance” and that Winston will tell you he could have done better.
Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports wasn’t sure if he should call the performance “very good, good or meh.”
One of the most common criticisms was that Winston did not look good when he was asked to throw on the move.
“Every time he’s been on the move, he’s been off a little bit,” former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner said on the NFL Network. “We’ve seen some throws (behind) receivers.”
NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger thought Winston’s personal quarterback coach, George Whitfield, did a poor job setting up the workout as they tried to show that Winston had overcome some of his negative traits. Instead, the workout may have just emphasised those weaknesses.
“I am surprised that George Whitfield OK’d this here today,” Baldinger said. “I don’t think this is putting him in the best light.”
And herein lies the problem with analysing these type of workouts. Analysts expect a perfectly scripted workout that allows the quarterback to complete every pass and show off their strengths. Analysts have seen perfection so many times, even from mediocre prospects, that it is now expected.
The reaction of Fox Sports’ NFL Draft expert Joel Klatt sums this up perfectly, noting that Winston did too much and should have thrown the number of passes typically seen at these workouts.
Winston & Whitfield tried too hard to prove point throwing off platform…average workout…would have been better at 60 throws not 102
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) March 31, 2015
At the end of the day, Winston’s draft status might have only been impacted if it was a complete disaster, and nobody is saying that.
Of course, the bigger issue with Winston is the off-field concerns and, at least publicly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t appear to have any.
“The more questions you ask and the more you dig, the more good you find,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht told ESPN. “For [Florida State people], he’s a tremendous person. They trust him fully. You can’t find a bad thing said about him.”
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