Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston showed off his arm during a 102-throw pro-day workout, then showed off his personality during a visit with NFL Network after his performance.
The subject of his draft-day plans came up, as Winston, who seems likely to be the top pick in the draft, confirmed he is considering staying home from the draft to be with his family in Alabama. He said Tuesday that there has been some pushback on that and "I might go to the draft."
He did say one reason he wanted to spend the day with his family was because he wanted people who have been around him from the beginning "to be around me to enjoy the moment." He also mentioned that his paternal grandmother suffers from Type II diabetes and is not able to travel.
Winston has been criticized for a lot of things, but he always has been personable and that showed in his post-workout interview. He joked around with the NFL Network personnel -- yet also showed great recall when asked about a specific interception (he threw three in the game) in a win over Louisville.
Winston said he thought his workout "went great," which wasn't a universal reaction. Truthfully, though, his on-field work in his two seasons at FSU generally has drawn raves; it's his well-chronicled off-field issues that have caused problems. He was asked about his past.
"I changed after the Clemson game. Drastically," said Winston, who was suspended for that game after yelling an obscenity in public at FSU's student union a few days before the game.
Not being allowed to play "hurt me," he said.
"All that stuff is behind me," Winston said, though he later acknowledged that "I can't convince someone I'm different."
Winston also said the original pro-day plan was to throw no more than 75 passes, but as he and quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. worked on the script, Winston said he told Whitfield, "Man, George, bump that. I'm a competitor. ... Let's give them everything."
He said one of his main goals going into the workout was to show that he is athletic enough to move around in the pocket; he took a good-natured shot at himself by saying his slow time in the 40-yard dash (4.97 seconds) at the NFL Scouting Combine likely led to the assumption that he lacked athleticism. He said his work with Whitfield was not just on five- and seven-step drops, but rather on a wide variety of throws, including ones on the run.
Winston won the Heisman in 2013, when he threw for 4,057 yards, 40 TDs and 10 interceptions in leading FSU to the national title. His numbers dropped in '14: 3,907 yards, 25 TDs and 18 picks, a figure that tied for second-most nationally.
Asked about the high interception total, Winston admitted he tried to do too much and said he forced throws. For all his picks, though, FSU still advanced to the national semifinals, and Winston led FSU to six wins by six or fewer points. "When my back's against the wall, I need to rise to the occasion," he said.
NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said he has been told by numerous NFL personnel people that Winston has a high football IQ.
"I just love the game," Winston said. "I've got a passion for the game."
Winston said part of his football acumen comes from wanting to be known as a high-level passer. "I want to be someone who depended on his mind, his arm," he said, name-dropping the likes of Randall Cunningham ("with the Vikings," he was quick to add), Warren Moon, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
Winston came across in the interview as a nice guy, and it is hard to reconcile the guy he appeared to be with some of the things he has done (and is accused of doing). Ultimately, it seems the kind of guy he is -- not the kind of quarterback he is -- will play the largest role in determining his NFL success.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.