Jameis Winston will enter his rookie season with the most fantasy upside of any first-year quarterback since Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin in 2012.
In that year, Griffin became a top-five fantasy signal caller after rushing for 815 yards and seven scores while adding 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air. Luck was nearly as good, throwing for nearly 4,400 yards and 23 touchdown passes for the 11-5 Colts.
Winston undoubtedly has the tools to become an elite pocket passer. Former NFL running back Eddie George, who joined Kap & Haugh on Friday, believes Winston will prove as much in his rookie season:
"I think Jameis Winston (will be better than No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota), because I think he's more NFL-ready. He comes from a pro system, he understands the nuances of the system," George said. "There were times when you watched him last year bringing his team back from several touchdowns down. You're going to find yourself in that position in the NFL, so he can play from behind, he can play from ahead, he can make every throw there is to make, he's a great leader on the field, he can manipulate a secondary."
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It will also help Winston that he's surrounded by talent. In Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, the Bucs tout one of the best 1-2 wide receiver combinations in the NFL. The pair combined for 138 receptions, 2,053 yards and 14 touchdown receptions last year despite having Josh McCown and Mike Glennon under center. Talented rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins has reportedly looked great in summer camp, while Tampa Bay spent two second-round picks on offensive linemen (Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet).
Running back is an issue, and the defense still needs work, but that could mean more airing it out for Winston in his first season.
It's still too risky to gamble on Winston being your No. 1 quarterback heading into your fantasy Week 1, but with the talent around him to succeed, all the tangible tools and memories of Luck and Griffin dominating as rookies, don't let Winston fall too far on draft day. Scoop him up as a high upside QB2 in the mid-to-late rounds.