Jameis Winston could get off to a rough start in 2015
Heading into the Buccaneers’ third preseason game, the team had to have been pretty happy with the progress their No. 1 overall pick QB Jameis Winston was making.
His play against the Browns in Week 3 of the preseason does provide cause for concern, however.
The biggest reason? His performance against pressure. This was a strength of Winston’s in college, ranking 11th in the nation in accuracy under pressure, and while he had struggled a little bit under pressure the first two preseason games, he had a disastrous performance against the Browns. They threw a multitude of blitzes at him, and he didn’t respond well: He completed zero passes on eight dropbacks under pressure, en route to a 0.0 QB rating. He ended up being sacked four times and throwing an interception, and he recorded a -2.3 grade for the game.
Winston is likely going to struggle as a rookie, but if he does, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be a bust. The early successes of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson set an extremely high bar for young QBs that is almost unattainable. Peyton Manning had a 26-28 TD-to-INT stat line as a rookie, while Aaron Rodgers rode the bench behind Brett Favre for a few seasons before taking the reins and going 6-10 in his first season as a starter.
With Winston there is heightened hype because of what he did in college, and the fact that he was drafted first overall, but chances are he is going to struggle with his accuracy and poise under pressure in the early going. We saw that on display against the Browns last week.