Scouting Report: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Risky Throws

One thing I noticed while evaluating Winston was that he took way too many chances with the football where I’d rather just have seen him take a sack rather than risk an interception or fumbles with the football.
In these plays Winston should just take a sack and not risk losing the football. I love Winston’s confidence, but these type of plays exactly illustrate the risky decision-making process Winston needs to improve on. Many coaches would argue that Winston should just takes a sack instead of attempting these plays as they could result in a defensive touchdown or at the very least a loss of possession of the football.

Outside of some risky decision-making Winston seems to force throws way too often. In this next play credit the wide receiver for coming back for the catch and Winston for keeping the play alive to begin with, but also note that this isn’t always advised as this can be an easy interception if the wide receiver isn’t fully committed to catching the football.

In the following play, Winston escapes the defender in the backfield, but he throws it across his body over the middle of the field where two defenders almost had the opportunity to bring it in for an interception.

These are the type of plays that make me very nervous if I was the head coach. Winston was very lucky he wasn’t intercepted in the endzone by the defensive back as well as the underneath linebacker.


Winston’s mechanics were awful in college most likely due to his baseball playing days. Ever since the season ended, Winston claims to be working on them and showcased better footwork and a quicker release at his pro day and hopefully for his sake that will continue to get better in the NFL with a dedicated QB coach and full-time effort on his craft. Overall, he has a very long wind-up leaving intelligent players time to make up ground between an open receiver by the time the ball gets there. In the pocket, Winston sometimes relies too heavily on his pure arm strength especially when throwing over the middle and backfoots throws leading to interceptions or almost interceptions for the defense.

When running outside the pocket, Winston is a rather awkward runner and not the most fluid athlete in space where he’s often off-balance.

And here is one last play on a long touchdown run by Winston on a QB draw. Winston does a great job of avoiding being tackled but you can tell he’s off-balanced as he makes his moves. He does a good job of keeping the ball high and tight to make sure it doesn’t get stripped as well.

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Samuel Gold

Sam founded NFL Breakdowns after working his way through the journalist farm system and is enjoying life in the big league. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Sam didn’t choose the Redskins, the Redskins chose him. Out of a love for the game and an insatiable curiosity to determine why his beloved team was underperforming, Sam turned to studying film in NFL Breakdowns.