|Team:||New Orleans Saints|
|Ht / Wt:||6'4" / 231 lb.|
|Born:||January 6, 1994|
|Drafted:||2015 / Rd. 1 (1)|
Jameis Winston is currently a quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and one of the most celebrated, if controversial, players in the league. In high school, he was rated the best "dual-threat" quarterback in the nation and one who earned "Player of the Year" awards from Gatorade in his native Alabama. His high school team, Hueytown, won a state championship under him during his junior year. While deciding to attend Florida State University in 2012, the Texas Rangers professional baseball team drafted him out of high school, but he declined to concentrate on football and college baseball.
Though Winston played just two years before jumping to the NFL Draft, his career was huge. In his freshman year, he completed 257 passes for a completion percentage of 66.9 percent for an average of 10.6 yards. He threw for a shocking 4,057 yards while completing 40 touchdown passes and throwing only 10 interceptions. In spite of some personal controversy, Winston led FSU to a 13-0 regular season record and beat Auburn 34-31 in the title game - on his 20th birthday. He received that year's Heisman Trophy, at 19 the youngest player ever to do so.
His sophomore year of 2014 saw FSU remain strong, as they went 13-0 in the regular season. During this stretch, he earned 3,907 yards passing and had 25 touchdowns to 18 interceptions. His only slip occurred in the 2014 championship game against Oregon. Winston lost this game 59-20, his only college loss ever for a staggering 26-1 record. He entered the NFL Draft as the likely No. 1 View his highlights here.
Winston's NFL combine numbers were solid, if not incredible. He earned a grade of 6.7 for his 40 time of 4.97, his vertical leap of 28.5 inches, and his broad jump of 103 inches. Scouts considered these numbers as irrelevant to his advanced ability to read pass windows and his skills as a large (6'4", 231 pounds) dual-threat as a running quarterback. As expected, he went first in the draft, being chosen over Marcus Mariota, the Oregon quarterback who had beaten him.
His salary was $23.35 million on a four-year contract. Due to his dual-sport abilities (as he was also a skilled FSU baseball player), his contract stated that he could not play any other sport. This prevented him from becoming a player like Bo Jackson who excelled in two professional sports.
In his 2015 rookie season, Winston made an immediate impact on Tampa Bay. The previous year, they had a paltry 2-14 record. Under Winston, who stated every game, they went 6-10. Winston completed 312 passes out of 535 for a completion rate of 58.3 percent. His yardage total was 4,042, while he threw for 22 touchdowns. His 15 interceptions that year were problematic, though proved his dual-threat status by rushing 54 times for 213 yards and six touchdowns.
His 2016 season was even stronger in every aspect. He brought Tampa Bay a 9-7 record and completed 345 passes out of 567 for a completion rate of 60.8 percent. He was just shy of 4,100 passing yards (4,090), while passing for 28 touchdowns. His interception rate did increase to 18 for the season, however. While his rushing dropped to 165 yards on 53 attempts for one touchdown, this was partially due to the improvement of Tampa Bay's running game. View his highlights here.
The controversial moments that seemed to hound Winston in college have disappeared as he settles into a professional role. Known as one of the most football-smart players in the league, his upside remains large. His Twitter account reveals a motivated and successful individual looking to help his team succeed.