If you didn’t think we were already in peak offseason, the last week or so has slapped you in the face with that truth.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott & Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott & Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

Last week, there was a big debate sparked on Twitter on whether or not Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz or Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was the more alluring player to have for the future. There were fans on each side who gave their pros and cons, but, honestly, there was much more debate than I thought defending Wentz, especially after the year Prescott had.

This week things have been taken up to another level – a level it should have never gone. Pro Football Focus did a fun exercise with its writing staff where it did a re-draft of the entire NFL for all 32 teams. But the fun part was that there was no age limitation, so any player in college football or even high school football was also eligible. It was fun to read. I certainly have my own questions with the first round, like when someone selected a kid who has won nine college football games, Sam Darnold, in the middle of the first round over a player who has been the most elite player at his position for three years and counting, Aaron Donald.

But, anyways.

My qualms with the first 32 were tame compared to that of NJ.com’s Eagles reporter, Eliot Shorr-Parks, who was shocked that Wentz was not taken in the Top 32.

It gets crazier.

Not only did Shorr-Parks think that Wentz should have been in the first round, he also said that he would have taken Wentz over any other non-quarterback, pro or not pro. And then, to take things to the reason I’m writing this article to you today, he said that in a total NFL re-draft, the only players in the world he would take over Carson Wentz were Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota.

No Prescott. No Cam Newton. No Andrew Luck.

No Jameis Winston.

Eagles fans and writers, I’ll give you all this: As a group, you are very passionate bunch. In the good times, I’ve seen Philly rally around their sports teams like few other cities in the nation can. But, I ain’t lettin’ y’all get away with this one.

I’m here to specifically talk about someone honestly picking Carson Wentz in a re-draft over Jameis Winston, and why it’s absolutely absurd. First, let’s take a look at the reasoning Shorr-Parks gave for his decision there.

WOULD I TAKE [WINSTON] OVER WENTZ?: No

Winston has answered a lot of questions about his off-the-field issues since coming into the NFL and appears to be the leader many expected him to be. Wentz, however, also has command of the Eagles locker room and doesn’t come with any off-the-field issues.

Let’s start this comparison form the beginning.

In high school, Winston was won a state championship his junior year. He was also the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Alabama. As a unanimous 5-star recruit, he received 18 scholarship offers from D-1 schools, and ultimately chose Florida State.

Wentz was considered a late bloomer. He didn’t fully grow into his 6-5 frame we see now until his college days. Because of this, Wentz only had moderate success in high school. He didn’t even earn a rating in the 247 Sports rankings as a recruit, and therefore, did not field any FBS D-1 scholarship offers. Instead he signed with an FCS school, North Dakota State.

QB Jameis Winston at Florida State - Photo by: Getty Images

QB Jameis Winston at Florida State – Photo by: Getty Images

At the collegiate level, Winston redshirted his true freshman year, but was then named the starting quarterback the following season. In his first season as a starter, Winston led the Seminoles to an undefeated season and a BCS National Championship, while also winning the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best player. In his two seasons before declaring for the NFL Draft, Winston threw for 7,964 yards, 68 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in 27 games, losing just one game in his college career.

Wentz had his own collegiate success, even though it was against lower-level competition for a dynasty school. He led the Bison to two national championships, throwing for 4,762 passing yards, 42 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 23 games as a starting quarterback, losing just three games.

Winston was drafted No. 1 overall in 2015.

Wentz was drafted No. 2 overall in 2016.

In Winston’s first two seasons in the NFL, he has started all 32 games. He’s thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two years, and is the first quarterback in NFL history to do so. In 2015, he threw for 4,042 yards with 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a 84.2 quarterback rating.

Winston was selected to the Pro Bowl in his first season, and was named the Pepsi Rookie of the Year. In 2016, Winston increased his numbers in every category – though one is a bad thing (interceptions). He threw for 4,090 yards with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with an 86.1 quarterback rating. He was the youngest player to pass for 3,000, the youngest player to pass for 4,000 yards and the youngest player to pass for 40 touchdowns.

Wentz has also started every game of his NFL career thus far with 16. Wentz also has his own NFL record for the most pass completions by a rookie at 379. In his rookie season, the threw for 3,782 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 interception with a 79.3 quarterback rating.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

I write all that to simply say this: Wentz has never been as good as Winston literally at any point in his football career – and, guess what, Winston is younger than Wentz, too, so he’s one-upped Wentz at every step at a younger age.

Finally, let’s look at the last sentence Shorr-Parks wrote about Wentz over Winston.

“Wentz, however, also has command of the Eagles locker room and doesn’t come with any off-the-field issues.”

I can’t blame Shorr-Parks too much for this, because, let’s face it, since his college days, the only time Winston has made national media that is read by non-Bucs fans has been when it’s negative. So, I get the underlying narrative.

But, it’s a narrative – it’s not the truth.

In fact, from the first moment he’s been a Buccaneer, Winston has been the team’s leader.

That’s a video of Winston making sure he was the first one there before all the other rookies on the very first day of rookie min-camp. Since that time, there have been multiple testimonials from players and coaches that say Winston beats them to the building, the weight room and the meeting rooms, and he’s often the last one to leave the practice field, too – both for extra reps and for time with the fans.

And if you want to talk about the locker room…

That’s Winston, in his rookie season, as a 21-year-old kid, leading, motivating and encouraging grown men who are far his senior. If being a leader is what Shorr-Parks thinks gives Wentz a nod over Winston, I’ll kindly disagree.

At the end of the day, it’s an opinion. If Shor-Parks would really take Wentz over Winston, even considering all the evidence I just laid out, that’s fine. He can.

But I still think he’s wrong.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Subscribe
Notify of
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rut
Rut
4 years ago

Wentz doesn’t even pass the basic eye test for me. Being from NY, I have a lot of NFC East fans as friends, including a couple Eagles guys. They gush over this guy of course, but I get confused when I see the national media rave about him too. He really didn’t look that great. He looked ok, average, like he could be a starter for a couple years, but nothing about his game looks transcendent or potentially elite. He’s just a big, built QB that can put some zip on his throws. I have nothing against him though. Wouldn’t… Read more »

Iowabucfan
Iowabucfan
4 years ago

I, too, know Eagle fans here and they are nice people. But, the Eagle fans in Philadelphia are some arrogant individuals. They pump their chests and think they are better than anybody else. That was one of the great joys when the Buccaneers won the NFC Championship game there. They thought all they needed to do was show up and it will be theirs. They are setting themselves up for great disappointment AGAIN. This brings me great joy.
I do like Carson Wentz. I saw him play against UNI. He’s a good player.
Go Bucs!

Randy H.
Randy H.
Reply to  Iowabucfan
4 years ago

Agree with you on the arrogance. I worked in Virginia at the time with some Eagles fan’s. I remember on Monday after the division playoffs, one of them said to the other “It’s in the bag!!!”. Went to Dungy’s last game at the Vet. Didn’t wear any Bucs colors, because I didn’t want the s%$# beat out of me.

gcolerick
gcolerick
4 years ago

Ok….he is entitled to his opinion but the truth of the matter is it is just an opinion until father time gives us the facts. I personally believe we will be just as happy with the outcome of the Winston draft pick as we were with the 1995 Tampa Bay selection of Warren Sapp at number 12 verses the Philadelphia pick of Mike Mamula at number seven in the first round.

Destino102
Destino102
4 years ago

Trevor, you forgot the most important argument. Jameis Winston died for our football sins.

Destino102
Destino102
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

I have seen him perform plenty of miracles

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
4 years ago

What a shocker!!!! Homer reporter prefers his home team’s guy over the other team’s guy, and the other team’s guy’s homer reporter disagrees!

What? Is this sports talk or something?

Really wish at least pre-season was underway … we are stuck in the summer doldrums when even media writers only try to argue that their opinion is superior to some other media guy’s opinion.

The proof is in the career record. To be determined.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

I’m not excited in the least … zzzzzzz

I much prefer your analytical work, which is outstanding.

Dueling opinions on which homer’s fave is better is dull and boring. Sorry, it just is.

Arguing over who is the better player (pick any two in the league) isn’t adding to anyone’s knowledge of the game.

dbucfan
dbucfan
4 years ago

There’s been a lot of head injuries in the league, and now evidently in the writer’s/reporter’s seats. Even homers shouldn’t blow their credibility so early in the year

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  dbucfan
4 years ago

I would be willing to bet if not guarantee that the homers (and team beat writers) for all 31 other teams in the league think that Bucs fans who think Jameis Winston is on a guaranteed track to be a super star are absolutely nuts. Same applies to the young developmental quarterbacks for every other team that isn’t theirs. It’s just rank homerism. Quite a few (but far from all) media writers on national pubs who aren’t on the team beat for specific teams DO think Winston is on a fast track to stardom. But it’s pretty hard to find… Read more »

Brandonges
Brandonges
4 years ago

Taking Wentz over Luck is more egregious than over Winston. Either way, that Eagle writer is delusional.

dbucfan
dbucfan
4 years ago

Eagle reporter favoring a qb from another team would be news…

chetthevette
chetthevette
4 years ago

Shor-Parks? Did he take his wifes mind name? He’s a Putz.
GO BUCS