Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik is taking aim at an anonymously quoted NFL personnel executive who drew a comparison between this year's, presumptive No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Jameis Winston, and JaMarcus Russell, who is considered one of the biggest busts in draft history after going first overall in 2007.
Among the similarities between the two cited by the executive in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story on Thursday were a lack of focus, and a penchant for doing "dumb things."
Naturally, this comes around the same time that another high-ranking NFL executive said Winston, if ranked with every quarterback chosen in the first round since 2011, would rate second only to Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck. The two opinions together illustrate one of few certainties about evaluations of NFL draft prospects: Two teams can often view the same prospect very differently.
Dominik thinks the executive who trashed Winston made a lazy comparison, at best.
"I think it's rude. I think it's completely off base to call him JaMarcus Russell. I just don't see the comparison. Look, if you want to say one thing about Jameis, the only thing I'd sit there and say is at the end of the season, he lost 17 pounds to go to the combine. I didn't like that," Dominik told The Sedano Show on ESPN Radio. "You know, because I'd like to think he's playing as well as he can all the way through the bowl series and then getting himself ready for the combine, instead of having to get himself in shape. But from a football standpoint, from a football intelligence, from a competitor, from a leader, it ain't close. It's embarrassing. For my personal opinion, whatever GM said that, probably should not be a GM, quite frankly."
However, the Journal Sentinel report didn't establish the source of the Winston-Russell comparison as a general manager. The source was only referred to as a personnel executive, which could describe multiple front office positions.
One of the factors that led to Russell's ouster as a disappointing former No. 1 overall pick of the Oakland Raiders was a weight problem. Ironically, in his only criticism of Winston, Dominik brought up the same concern. There are plenty of other legitimate concerns about Winston -- from his high interception total last year (18) to his off-field maturity -- but to be a Russell-like bust, Winston, ranked as the second-best quarterback of the last five drafts by one executive, would have to be a monumental disappointment.
Dominik went on to suggest that the source of the comment probably comes from a team with an established starter at the quarterback position.
"It's a little bit easier to throw stones when you've already got somebody," Dominik said.
And when your name isn't in print, as well.