Sportress of Blogitude

Unnamed NFL executive compares Jameis Winston to JaMarcus Russell


Jameis Winston arguably is one of the most heavily scrutinized football players in the history of the NFL Draft and an unnamed league player personnel executive made one of the most unflattering comparisons that can be made when predicting the career prospects of a future NFL quarterback.

The longtime executive in personnel, per a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report, likened Winston to JaMarcus Russell, one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history.

“With Jameis Winston I see JaMarcus Russell,” he said. “Isn’t it interesting?”

Russell, a presumed can’t-miss prospect at the quarterback position, was selected first-overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft. He lasted a mere three seasons in the NFL, appearing in 31 games in that span before disappearing. He completed his NFL career with a 65.2 quarterback rating, a 52.1 completion percentage with 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

The unnamed executive says he sees striking similarities in Russell and Winston, both in body type and playing style.

“Lack of focus by JaMarcus is what I see in Winston,” the he said. “They’re physically talented, but during the course of a game they kind of lose their focus and just put the ball up for grabs.

“I see the body. I see the lack of focus. I see the same coach and system. Only Winston’s not as good an athlete and his arm isn’t as strong as JaMarcus’.”

Damning words, indeed. Regarding body style, Winston’s similar build has been subjected to intense scrutiny. He was even referred to as overweight heading into the combine and on several occasions afterward, including his pro day.

Even if some of the observations are accurate, to venture a prediction that Winston could go down as one of the biggest draft busts ever — which is exactly what is entailed by making the suggestion he is similar to Russell — is about as risky as saying he’s going to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Odds are much better he’ll fall somewhere in between those extremes.

Still, it makes for an excruciatingly agonizing decision for the Buccaneers, fraught with the potential for regret … whether the team drafts Winston first-overall or not.

[New York Post]