Jameis Winston: 2015 NFL Combine Results, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2015

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When Jameis Winston announced he would participate in drills at the NFL Scouting Combine, he had a lot more to prove than a typical quarterback who enters the draft process firmly in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick. 

Yes, there are all the off-field transgressions that leave questions about his character. But there's also the on-field issue stemming from the fact that he threw 18 interceptions and made a number of poor decisions throughout the year. 

The turnovers were an issue that was touched upon during the NFL Network telecast, which you can see in the video embedded below.

It's impossible to answer all of the questions in a single workout, but Winston did his best to alleviate some concerns from his erratic play in Indianapolis. 

Jameis Winston Combine Results
40-Yard Dash (seconds)Vertical Jump (inches)
4.97 (unofficial)28.5
via NFL.com

Winston's first measured event on Saturday was the vertical jump. His official measurement was 28.5 inches. On the NFL Network telecast, via College Football 24/7, Mike Mayock pointed out that Winston's vertical jump was below the average for quarterbacks last year:

CollegeFootball 24/7 @NFLDraft

Jameis Winston's vertical: 28.5. Mayock says that's below the average for QBs (31).

The vertical jump isn't a crucial stat for quarterbacks, as it's more about establishing burst off the line of scrimmage. Winston is a pocket passer, so he's not going to be doing a lot of moving around. Mariota is known for making plays with his legs, as well as his arm, so the gap isn't a big surprise. 

Another area in which Winston failed to impress, though not in an unexpected way, was the 40-yard dash. He had the slowest time of the quarterbacks in his group, posting an unofficial time of 4.97 seconds. 

In case you were wondering how Winston and Mariota compared in their respective 40-yard dashes, NFL.com has the video:

As B/R's Matt Miller noted on Twitter, people who were expecting Winston to do something surprising in the 40-yard dash are misguided:

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

Jameis Winston is not a fast person. Not sure what folks in my mentions were expecting.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports echoed those sentiments, while also adding that Winston's 40 time is irrelevant for what he does in the pocket:

Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB

Jameis Winston's 2nd 40 time is 4.99.. Heard from ppl close to him he'd be around 4.8. Doesn't matter much tho..terrific pocket presence

Winston isn't a mobile quarterback. He never moved well at Florida State, so seeing him run a bad 40-yard dash seems about right. Teams are more focused on what he can do throwing out routes and showing accuracy. 

He had a slow time; nobody is denying that. To paint a picture of just how leisurely Winston's time is, Dan Rubenstein of Solid Verbal offered past speed demons who ran faster:

Being slow isn't a bad thing, as the NFL tweeted out a physical comparison between Winston and one of the league's best quarterbacks:


Jameis Winston vs. Tony Romo. #NFLCombine http://t.co/yq1kBaOnaN

Prior to last season, Tony Romo took a lot of heat from fans and media, but there's no denying the things he's accomplished. If Winston turns out to have the career that Romo has in Dallas, some team is going to be very happy. 

During the throwing portion of his workout, Winston looked much more like himself and the player who could be taken No. 1 overall. Mayock said on NFL Network, via Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that the 2013 Heisman winner's accuracy can be "scary":

Omar Kelly @OmarKelly

"His touch and accuracy is kind of scary at times," Mike Mayock says complimenting FSU QB Jameis Winston. Man he can spin it.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com did notice that Winston was using two different dropback techniques on the sidelines:

Bucky Brooks @BuckyBrooks

It's been interesting watching @Jaboowins throw in drills on the side. Using crossover steps on throws to right; backpedal on throws to left

That was notable because there were reports on Friday, most notably from Doug Kyed of NESN.com, that Winston's throwing shoulder was in bad shape: "Winston’s shoulder is 'bad,' a scout, who is not authorized to speak on the record, told NESN.com. The Florida State product’s shoulder won’t be an issue in the short-term, but it’s viewed as a long-term problem by this team. The injury was categorized as a 'real issue.'"

Maybe there is something happening with Winston's shoulder, but it certainly didn't show on Saturday. He had velocity and touch on everything. Here's all the evidence you need to know how well it went for the former Florida State superstar, via John Middlekauf of CSN Authentic:

With so many throws, Winston didn't hit everyone in the hands perfectly. Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, despite completing all of his passes, Winston did have one poor throw on an out route.

Rick Stroud @NFLSTROUD

QB Jameis Winston completed 16-of-16 but had one throw inside and late on 12-yard out.

Yet if there is only one throw to pick apart out of 16 attempts, all of which were completed, Winston should rest easy. 

One thing that wasn't disputed about Winston on Saturday was his football instincts. On the NFL Network telecast, via Bill Jones of CBS 11 in Dallas, Rich Eisen pointed out that his colleague Steve Mariucci raved about the former Florida State star:

Bill Jones @CBS11BillJones

According to Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci says Jameis Winston is "most astute x's & o's guy he's ever put on the board" at combine.

ESPN's Todd McShay also defended Winston's X's-and-O's IQ to anyone who finds it shocking or surprising:

Todd McShay @McShay13

I'm surprised at how surprised people seem to be re: Jameis Winston's off-the-charts football IQ.

When you earn accolades like that, it's no surprise why Winston is as well-regarded as he is heading into the draft. College quarterbacks tend to enter the NFL behind the eight ball because they aren't asked to read defenses or call plays in a huddle. 

It's also fascinating to see the way people who have talked to Winston rave about him. His character has been a talking point throughout this process and will likely continue to be after he gets drafted, but there are obviously things he does on the field that no other quarterback in this class can. 

Winston will at least come into the NFL with experience going through progressions and making calls at the line of scrimmage. He's got to show that last year's turnover issues were a fluke, but everything that happened during his workout suggests a player who belongs in the mix for the top overall pick. 

Assuming Tampa Bay stays at No. 1 overall, Lovie Smith and his staff should be very happy with what they saw if they feel that quarterback is the way to go on April 30. 


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