When the book finally closes on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's evaluation as an NFL draft prospect, character questions and all, the Seminoles star and defending Heisman Trophy winner will still likely be one of the first 10 players drafted next year, if he chooses to declare early draft eligibility.
"Outside of the rape ordeal, which who knows what happened there, everything is just being immature," the scout said. "It's dumb college [expletive]. How many times has somebody said something dumb in the cafeteria before? How many kids shoot a BB gun? It's just dumb stuff that young guys do. He's simply immature."
What's much less of a question than character is the third-year sophomore's talent for the game. After Winston led a comeback from a 21-0 deficit against Louisville last Thursday, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said that the Seminoles star is more refined as a pocket passer than Oregon star quarterback Marcus Mariota. What's more, the scout who spoke to Sports Illustrated believes that, because of the offenses they employ, the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles could be the only NFL clubs that regard Mariota as the better prospect.
"The guy's playing in a pro-style system, he's making all the checks at the line of scrimmage, his teammates like him," the scout added about Winston. "Oh, and he's making plays in the clutch."
Winston learned Tuesday that his school code of conduct hearing related to an alleged sexual assault will be held the week of Nov. 17. The outcome of that hearing could potentially have an impact on Winston's decision on whether to stay at FSU or declare for the draft.