An important trait for quarterbacks in the NFL is the ability to sense pressure and navigate around the pocket. Winston shows an excellent ability at navigating the pocket keeping his eyes downfield while sensing the pressure with peripherals.
In these plays Winston shows great pocket mobility and an ability to break tackles while scrambling.
Here Winston keeps his eyes downfield while scrambling to extend the play and find an alternate wide receiver.
Finally in this last play, Winston shows an ability to recognize the blitz and get the ball out quickly in the face of pressure.
Supporting Cast in 2014
When going through Winston’s tape I could not believe the vast number of drops, horrible routes, and general bad play from his receivers at Florida State. Here are some key drops on well thrown balls by Winston:
Here are some other bad plays made by his wide receivers including stopping on routes, not focusing on keeping his feet in bounds, and “gator-arming” the ball or not extending and attacking the ball in the air completely.
Every team has bad drops or quarterback-wide receiver miscommunications, but for a west coast offense like Florida State’s that relies on efficiency and yards-after-catch it’s especially bad and was a big part of the reason why Boston College almost beat Florida State at the end of last year.
Pro Comparison and Draft Projection
Pro Comparison: Eli Manning/Ben Roethlisberger. Winston is similar size to Roethlisberger with the same hit-or-miss decision-making/clutch factor of Eli Manning. Big Ben is one of the best at scrambling around the pocket while keeping the play alive for his wide receivers to get open. In any game Winston has the ability to throw three interceptions, not let that faze him, and then lead a game-winning drive. Winston’s clutch factor makes him a remarkable quarterback to watch while his natural pocket awareness and ability to sense pressure gives him the tools to keep plays alive for his wide receivers at all times.
Draft Projection: Top 5. Almost guaranteed to be no. 1 as of 4/28/2015.