Is Florida State's Jameis Winston a franchise-changing QB?

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has just one big step left before it becomes clear sailing for him to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft: his pro day.



Most questions concerning Winston are about his issues off the field. Considering that, as well as his ability to perform on the field at the next level, will Winston be another JaMarcus Russell or will he have a career closer to Andrew Luck's?

The crew at NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" debated just that ahead of Winston's pro day, addressing whether Winston is truly a franchise-changing quarterback.

"We can talk about athletic ability, we can talk about leadership ability, all that stuff," NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "But to me it's, can you read coverage? Check. Can you make all the throws? Check. Can you perform in the clutch? He can do all three. Those are what change drives, those are what change games, and when you win games, you become a franchise-changing quarterback. I think the answer is absolutely yes."

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and head coach Lovie Smith have undoubtedly been analyzing the exact qualities Jeremiah addressed, and it certainly appears they agree with his conclusion, considering most believe they'll select Winston over the draft's most talented player, USC's Leonard Williams, or its most intriguing prospect, Oregon's Marcus Mariota. Winston is not without his flaws on the field, but most analysts believe he has what it takes to be "the guy" with his future team just like he was in leading FSU to a national title.

"I believe he is a franchise-changing quarterback, and that's because of his skills and leadership ability," Charles Davis said. "I think he's that type of a player. You plug him in, people want to play football with him. I think their games elevate around him."

After plenty of time out of the spotlight in the run up to the draft, Tuesday's pro day workout offers Winston the opportunity to show again that he is indeed the franchise quarterback that many expect him to be once he officially winds up in Tampa Bay.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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