The buzz around Jameis Winston’s performance at the NFL Scouting Combine last weekend continues to reverberate.

Winston, who came to Indianapolis needing to impress NFL front office personnel, not only seemed to accomplish that, but also saw his reputation rise among a number of Bucs fans who were opposed to Winston or at the very least, on the fence on whether the Bucs should draft him.
FSU QB Jameis Winston has come under fire for his perceived weight gain – Photo by: Getty Images
Throughout the weekend, numerous reports came out of unnamed team executives who saw their opinions change after seeing the former FSU Heisman winner up close and personal. Si.com’s Peter King wrote about the perception of Winston among those in attendance on Indy. And on Monday, NFL.com media columnist Michael Silver wrote about the same thing.

“The kid is great on the (grease) board, and he can sling the hell out the ball,” said one general manager who has drafted a quarterback first overall. “I don’t see how they can not take him.”

“In other words, the smart money is on Winston shaking Commissioner Roger Goodell’s hand before fellow Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota – or anyone else – and in this case, that term works on more than one level.

“As one veteran scout said of Winston while sitting in the Lucas Oil Stadium stands Sunday afternoon, “Everyone here is saying he’s really, really smart – and if you’ve been down (to Tallahassee), you’re not surprised. They love the kid. They talk about how sharp he is. He loves to compete. And he’s ready to attack this thing.”

Another interesting note from Silver’s column was how Winston is helping to break a stereotype. Silver wrote, “There might still be Neanderthals among us who stigmatize African-American quarterbacks as athletic specimens who lack intelligence, leadership and the skills necessary to thrive in a traditional, “pro-style” offense, but they would be laughed out of Indy’s finest establishments by people who actually evaluate these players for a living.

“If you must compare Winston to an African-American quarterback, try this one on for size: “He reminds me of Steve McNair,” said one AFC team executive. “He wasn’t an articulate guy when he came out of Alcorn State, but he had an extremely high football IQ. He was a better athlete, but he didn’t have the outward confidence that Winston has. And this guy is way more pro-ready than Steve was.”

With the draft still 65 days away, much can still change. The Buccaneers will continue to do their homework. Winston could still find an opportunity to screw things up by doing something immature between now and April 30. But barring any new skeleton found in Winston’s closet, or hiccup maturity-wise, it appears more and more likely Winston will be the pick by the Buccaneers on draft night.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
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tjhuth
tjhuth
6 years ago

two additional items have arisen lately that are temporing my enthusiasm for Winston.
The first is the weight issue. While he seemed to have reversed the off-season weight gain in time for the combine, he reportedly did add over 20 pounds – and in a relatively short timespan. This again begs the question of self-control.
The second is related to the fact that he may still be interested in a baseball career.
I would hate to see him “try out” football and then switch to baseball.
gggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. he is so darn talented, but he scares the hebee-geebies out of me.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Mark Cook
6 years ago

Mark, you’re correct. Winston stayed slim when he was a baseball outfielder his true freshman year, but when he went to full time reliever he started to add some weight because he wasn’t running as hard as he did as an outfielder.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  tjhuth
6 years ago

The weight thing is up in the air, as he played at a much heavier weight when he was with FSU. I think they said he was 250 when he played in the national championship game. As for Baseball, I was a little nervous as well, but all you have to do to take care of that is put it in a contract and stories over. he did say it was a dream and to be honest, I would think there is so much to do as a QB, even in the off season, there would be zero time for… Read more »

KINDERRT
KINDERRT
6 years ago

You can always find question marks about a player if you look for them. I feel if Mariota struggles his first couple of years I could see him holding out and try and get reunited with Kelly in Philly to get back to a system he had success in. I say take the best QB and that seems to be Winston and don’t look back. Know one can see the future only guess at it.

Iabucfan
Iabucfan
Reply to  KINDERRT
6 years ago

KINDERRT, Agreed.

makski
makski
6 years ago

Why is there no info on all of the O-linemen, it is one of our most important positions? I see articles on Defensive players and DL and LB’s, but none recently on the O-line. We need serious upgrades there and I am curious on how they all compare. What are their projected rounds and how did they perform in college? Who would be good fits?? I know there isn’t much to learn at the combine about OL, but I would still like to hear about them. I don’t like the combine at all anyway and feel that it shouldn’t change… Read more »

makski
makski
6 years ago

By the way, I wasn’t counting the Day one Impressions of the TE and OL article because there were only 4 OL talked about. They are also the ones that we have herd the most about lately and didn’t really give any new info or any obscure OL to keep an eye on. Would like to see an article on the many OL that are supposedly rated to go in the middle rounds, considering that is where we will probably end up drafting them anyway.

georgehicks
georgehicks
6 years ago

Well Buc Fans this is the best Tampa Bay choice since QB Doug Williams. I think Jameis Winston is a slam dunk Buc. All the staff has to make is team him up with a role model player that is o