When any quarterback is selected high in the draft, especially with the top pick, there are high expectations. Some top picks go on to do great things – look at players like Cam Newton, Eli Manning and Carson Palmer. And then there are some No. 1 picks who never live up to their potential.
Jameis Winston has just one season under his belt, but NFL.com believes he is well on his way to becoming one of the better-performing No. 1 picks in recent memory. In his recent QB Index, which ranks all starting quarterbacks in the league, Gregg Rosenthal listed Winston as the No. 10 quarterback in the NFL.
"I want to write like Winston plays football," Rosenthal wrote. "His aggressiveness stands out, always confident he can fit passes into tight windows. Winston plays with such obvious joy that he inspires me to use terrible Favrian clichés. (He's like a kid out there! You'd love to be his teammate!)
"Winston shows preternatural abilities like manipulating safeties with his eyes, going through his reads and moving with calm while the world collapses around him. His ability to improvise when necessary is underrated and his innate feel for pressure around him reminds me so much of Ben Roethlisberger. Except Ben is not delivering this speech. Or this one."
Rosenthal's analysis doesn't come unsupported. In 2015, Winston put together one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history, becoming just the third rookie to surpass 4,000 passing yards. He also finished with the second-most passing yards of any Buccaneer quarterback in a single season. He was voted by the fans as the NFL's Rookie of the Year and was a three-time Rookie of the Week.
Winston is ranked ahead of Manning, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Alex Smith, just to name a few. He was one spot behind Andrew Luck, two spots behind Carson Palmer and four spots behind Drew Brees.
That's not bad company.