Poked, prodded, pricked -- pro prospects have been thoroughly examined by franchises leading up to this month's NFL Draft. However, fantasy owners are just now dissecting their Year 1 potential. Over the next several weeks, we'll attempt to channel our inner Mayock determining whether Rookie X will be fantasy flame or lame material this fall. Monday's profile: Florida St. quarterback Jameis Winston.
College Highlights: In 27 games with the 'Noles, Winston dazzled statistically. His 163.3 career passing efficiency ranks No. 4 in college football history. His 295.0 passing yards and 2.4 passing touchdowns per game are the highest ever among ACC QBs. He also holds FSU single-season records for completions (305), touchdown passes (40), yards per attempt (10.6) and 300-yard games (7). Last year he led the nation in fourth-quarter comebacks with four. When the heat is on, he's Chris Pratt cool. He's also the youngest player ever to win the Heisman.
Pluses: At 6-foot-4, 231-pounds, the former Heisman winner is quite the specimen, all unflattering gut pics aside. He can withstand harsh physical punishment, owns a strong arm, has above average pocket awareness and plays unfazed. His marked competitiveness, huddle command and general leadership qualities are top notch. He also thrives under pressure. In the fourth quarter last season with Florida St. he posted a stupendous 164.03 passer rating. He starts off rocky, but typically morphs into a shutdown closer late. His familiarity and production in a pro-styled system should assist him in his transition.
Minuses: Winston was a prototype Jekyll/Hyde at times as a Seminole. His first halves were often Cutler-like packed with turnovers and second-guessing. His passes in the 11-20 yard range were also horrendous. Last season, he completed just 56.8 percent and tossed 11 picks within that distance. If he telegraphs throws at the next level, a cascade of boos and possible pine time are sure to follow. Mobility is average at best (4.97 40-yard dash). And, as his well-publicized off-the-field transgressions suggest, he's not exactly been a model citizen. Who wants some crab legs?!
Pro Comp(s): Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler
Team Fits: Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Cleveland
Projected ADP/Auction Value ($200 cap): 150-170 (QB20), $3-$5
Fearless Forecast: In certain areas, Winston possesses attributes indicative of a future star. However, his questionable decision-making, notorious slow starts, suspect intermediate accuracy and off-the-field transgressions raise doubts. Is he mature enough to handle fortune and possible fame? With that said, if the Buccaneers invest in his services at No. 1, he'll have every opportunity to prove his mettle right away. Dirk Koetter, Tampa's offensive coordinator, did wonders in Atlanta with a young Matt Ryan. Given the OC's track-record and Redwood trees on the roster – Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Winston would step into a favorable situation. If he's under center in Tampa Week 1, pencil him in for roughly 3,700 combined yards, 18-22 TDs and 20-24 INTs. In other words, he's a QB2 flier in 12-team and deeper leagues. Think Derek Carr with more picks.
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