Former Buccaneers quarterback and current CBS color commentator Chris Simms is all in on Jameis Winston.
During a video interview with BleacherReport.com’s Adam Lefkoe, Simms showed a highlight reel of the Florida State star while making the case that he’s the most pro-ready signal caller in this year’s draft. To that point, he singled out the Bucs and specifically Dirk Koetter, who Simms claims has only had pocket passers during his NFL coaching career, making it obvious to draft Winston over Marcus Mariota.
“The guy is unbelievable; he is the number one quarterback in the draft hands down,” Simms said about Winston. “He makes NFL throws in every game you watch.
“Lets just talk about it from a football standpoint. Dirk Koetter, the new offensive coordinator (in Tampa Bay), all he’s had are drop back quarterbacks. Marcus Mariota does not seem to fit that scheme.”
In a rarer assessment, Simms also raved about Winston’s athletic ability; something that’s been called into question since the combine in late February. While Winston passed the throwing test with flying colors, his agility drill results left a lot to be desired. The 6-foot-4, 231pound quarterback posted a 4.97 40-yard dash time along with a 28-inch vertical. To put that in perspective Mike Glennon ran a 4.94 and Tony Romo had a 30 inch vertical – not to mention Mariota’s 4.56 and 36, respectively.
“One thing that gets overlooked about this guy are his feet in the pocket and his ability to run and extend plays,” Simms said. “This is what you have to do in the NFL, avoid pressure, still look downside and make an accurate throw. (He can also) throw the ball on the run. He’s phenomenal.”
In 2012 Phil Simms made headlines for being one of the few analysts not completely sold on Andrew Luck. And while the younger Simms had plenty of good things to say about the former No. 1 overall pick, he claims that at this point in the evaluation, Winston has done more to prove himself as the top prospect.
“He’s as good a quarterback as I’ve seen come out of the draft since Andrew Luck,” Simms said. “He actually makes me say ‘wow’ more than Andrew Luck. He has more wow NFL throws on a weekly basis.”
“I think he’s a guy that could lead this team at least into the playoff conversation. One thing I know about Jameis Winston when the bright lights come on, he is not phased. NFL combine, national championship game… that’s all he’s done his whole career.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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