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Winston has the prototype size for a quarterback, measuring 6-foot-3, 231 pounds. He has a strong presence in the pocket, often times shedding off defenders. He isn’t afraid to stand tall and step up into the pocket to deliver his throw. He is a great downfield passer, throwing an arching deep ball that lands in the receiver's breadbasket. His throws possess good velocity; he trusts his arm to make throws into tight windows.
He can run when he needs to, but he’s more comfortable operating from within the pocket. His football mind is sound. He recognizes blitzes at the line of scrimmage, and makes adjustments. He‘s a vocal leader, taking charge of his huddle and the locker room. He also has a knack for rising to the occasion. He doesn’t fear the pressure, and will play his best at the most crucial junctures of a game.
He doesn’t always throw a pretty ball. He’ll do his best Steve Young impression and throw a couple of ducks. His decision-making leaves you scratching your head. He threw an absurd amount of interceptions last season (18 in 14 starts), many of which were the result of him throwing into coverage.
A number of character issues arose during his tenure at Florida State. He was suspended one game in 2014 for yelling an obscene gesture on campus. In 2013 and 2014, the Tallahassee Police Department and the University of Florida State investigated him for an alleged sexual assault. Both entities cleared him of any wrongdoing, but the stigma of the allegation continues to stick. Sometimes he lets his emotions get the best of him, causing him to clash with his coaches.
Concerns regarding Winston’s character, particularly his maturity, will linger throughout the early portion of his development. There is great concern as to whether he can or should be the face of a franchise.
Nevertheless, Winston features a skill set that compares favorably to a young Ben Roethlisberger. He will use his strength and mobility within the pocket to keep plays alive, and his arm strength to stretch the field. In 2013, en route to winning the Heisman Trophy, he became the first FBS freshman with 40-plus touchdowns and 4,000-plus passing yards in the same season. With improved decision-making on and off the field, Winston has all the physical tools to develop into franchise a quarterback.