Bears

NFL Draft Profile: Florida State QB Jameis Winston

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NFL Draft Profile: Florida State QB Jameis Winston

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.

Jameis Winston (QB), Florida State

6’4” | 231 lbs.

2014 stats:

3,907 YDS, 65.3 CMP%, 25 TD, 18 INT, 145.5 QBR

Selection:

1st round, No. 1 overall (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

What scouts are saying:

"Winston is a big, highly competitive pocket passer who played in a pro-style offense and showed an ability to anticipate throwing windows, scan the entire field and make the NFL throws. His wind-up delivery and marginal mobility outside the pocket are reminiscent of Byron Leftwich, but his arm talent and issues with decision making are more in line with Eli Manning's. Winston's football potential is clearer than so-called "system" or "one-read" quarterbacks, but every stone must be overturned in an attempt to piece together a predictive character profile on Winston. Winston's supreme confidence might be considered arrogance by some, but even that trait will be alluring to teams who need to find a franchise quarterback." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

"Possesses all the natural physical tools you look for in today's NFL. He's big, athletic, has a strong arm and moves well inside the pocket. As for the intangibles, the list includes poise, anticipation, toughness, vision, leadership and a competitive fire. He's the total package, physically. When on his game, Winston delivers strikes before his receivers are out of their breaks or even looking for the ball. He handles pressure well, evading, resetting and speeding up his process when needed, listening to his internal clock. Generally makes excellent decisions with the ball, showing the ability to pepper well-thrown short and intermediate routes as well as driving strikes down the alleys." - CBSSports.com

"Considered by scouting community to be advanced in ability to scan field and get through progressions. Has natural feel for throwing windows and anticipates openings that other college quarterbacks don't see. Has height to see over offensive line and thickness of build to withstand NFL hits. Big arm by NFL standards. Gets full extension and follow through into throws with ability to drive ball into the seam in front of safeties. Can make all of the field-side throws teams need. Most teammates very trusting and protective of him, according to regional scouts. Aware in pocket, but not overly jittery." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Under Center Podcast: Chris Simms fixes the Bears

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USA Today

Under Center Podcast: Chris Simms fixes the Bears

Laurence Holmes is joined by NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms live from radio row in Miami as they try to fix the Bears. They also discuss what the Bears can learn from the San Francisco 49ers and their head coach Kyle Shanahan.

(1:57) - How to fix the Bears/Trubisky

(6:54) - What would he tell Mitchell Trubisky

(9:24) - What people don't understand about Khalil Mack

(11:44) - Kyle Shanahan is a football genius

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Under Center Podcast

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Bears' odds to sign Teddy Bridgewater just got better

Bears' odds to sign Teddy Bridgewater just got better

When Bears GM Ryan Pace selected quarterback Mitch Trubisky with the second overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, he referred to future Hall-of-Famer, Drew Brees, as the kind of passer he envisioned the former North Carolina product becoming. After three underwhelming seasons under center in Chicago, Trubisky's fallen way short of those expectations. It's unclear whether he can even become an average starter at this point.

The 2020 offseason is expected to bring competition for Trubisky and it's most likely to come via free agency. Pace will have an opportunity to tap into the Brees-led Saints quarterback room to find that competition, as all three passers (Brees, Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater) are scheduled to hit the open market.

The reality, however, is that only one of the three will likely be available. According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, it'll be Bridgewater.

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of the 2020 NFL offseason

Brees will call his own shot; if he wants to return to New Orleans, he will. And while Bridgewater played well enough to warrant a starting opportunity in 2020, he'd also serve as the perfect starter-in-waiting for the Saints. But that player is Hill, who Glazer said New Orleans views as a legitimate franchise quarterback.

This is actually great news for the Bears. Of the three Saints quarterbacks, Bridgewater would make the most sense as a target for Chicago. He'll turn 27 next season and still has several years of high-level play remaining in his arm. In the 2019 regular season, Bridgewater started five games (he went 5-0), completed nearly 68% of his passes, and threw for 1,384 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. 

Is Bridgewater an elite player? No. Is he a franchise-changing quarterback? No; but that's not what the Bears are looking for. Instead, Pace needs to sign a veteran who is consistent and reliable enough to support an elite defense with enough points to win. Trubisky's failed mightily at that, and Bridgewater proved in relief of Brees in 2019 that he's not only capable of it, but he can thrive in that role.

Bridgewater's projected market value is a three-year, $60.1 million deal (or $20 million per season) per Spotrac. It may seem like a lot of money to pay to a quarterback whose signing wouldn't come along with a guaranteed starting job, but when combined with Trubisky's $9.3 million salary in 2020, as long as the Bears receive quality play from whoever their starting quarterback is, the cost will be in line with those teams that have respected starters on their payroll.

It's possible Bridgewater won't sign with a team that doesn't promise him the starting job. But is a promise even needed with Trubisky being the only roadblock in Bridgewater's way? It wouldn't take long for him to distance himself at the top of the depth chart, and maybe, once and for all, the Bears can enjoy some Saints-like quarterback play. 

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