The Ringer’s 2022 QB rankings have interesting take on Jameis Winston

·2 min read

Here’s an intriguing exercise from Steven Ruiz at the Ringer, who ranked all 32 starting quarterbacks entering Week 1 — including New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston. Coming off of an efficient seven-game start to 2021 that got derailed by a major injury, Winston is now ranked at No. 17 — almost making him a prime meridian within the league’s haves and have-nots.

To break it down further, Winston is part of a thin middle class at quarterback in Ruiz’s rankings, slotting in on the same tier as Trevor Lawrence (81.8 overall grade), Kirk Cousins (81.7), Ryann Tannehill (81.4), Mac Jones (78.6), and Marcus Mariota (77.2). It’s a group made up of a few highly-drafted youngsters (Lawrence and Jones) and some embattled veterans trying hard to hang onto their starting jobs. They may or may not prove to be franchise quarterbacks — long-term solutions to the game’s most important position — but they occupy the space between the league’s sure things and the passers who aren’t likely to cut the mustard.

So it’s interesting to see Winston in that number. Summed up as “A bucket-getter who has a bit of a turnover problem,” Winston’s 79.5 grade brings highest marks for his arm talent, accuracy, pocket presence and creativity but criticizes his decision-making process and ability pre-snap to read the defensive coverage and diagnose where pressure is coming from, adjusting the line accordingly. That was a problem at times last year, too.

Those are things he can fix, and it lines up with what we saw out of Winston last year. Payton was hesitant to let him attempt a high volume of passes (owing to his history of giving the ball to the opposing team), but Winston did make strides in cutting down on negative plays. Tragically, he was also playing his best football just before his season-ending knee injury. Now he’s had to bounce back from that and continue to work on improving his game.

It’s on Winston to put those questions to rest. He’s in a great spot to succeed, with the Saints investing heavily in his supporting cast; Alvin Kamara, Ryan Ramczyk, and Michael Thomas are each playing on top-shelf contracts, and newcomers Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry should bring a big boost to the receiving corps. New position coaches at receiver and offensive line or installing first-year starters. But it isn’t a sure thing to say Winston will be the Saints quarterback for years to come. The team has told you that themselves by signing him to a short-term extension this summer. If he shows the progress everyone is looking for, both sides likely agree on a longer partnership. But again: it’s on Winston to earn that.

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Where the Saints clock in on NFL power rankings entering Week 1

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire