With the 7th pick in the 2015 NFL draft…

3 of 5

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

QB Jameis Winston, Florida St SO

Attributes – 6’4 | 232 | 4.70

Scouting report – It’s difficult to look past the off-field issues, but if they weren’t a factor Winston would be the clear-cut #1 pick. He has a prototype QB frame, a cannon arm with good touch, enough mobility to run when needed, unique pocket awareness, and he’s 27-0 as a starter. Winston has stepped up and led his team to victory every time he was needed. Granted some of those deficits were due to Winston’s poor play in the first half, but he has proven that he can turn it on when needed. Clutch isn’t quantifiable, but Winston has it. At only 20 years old, he’s already won a Heisman, a national championship and hasn’t lost a college game. It’s a damn good resume.

Unfortunately Winston can’t be evaluated without taking into account his off-field activities. I’m not going to list them all here, but Winston’s off-field decision making is a serious red flag especially with the increased scrutiny on NFL player’s off-field activity. Opinion seems to be mixed from scouts with some trivializing Winston’s actions as normal “19 year-old mistakes” while others think the worst is yet to come and that Winston is undraftable. Winston’s draft situation reminds me of when Randy Moss was drafted in 1998. Moss was projected to go in the top 5, but fell to 21 because teams were concerned about his off-field baggage. In case you forgot, the Bears took RB Curtis Enis over Moss with the 5th pick in ’98 (ugh). On talent alone Winston is a top-3 pick, but he could definitely fall to the Bears at 7.

NFL comparison – Ben Roethlisberger

Bears angle – One of the Bears biggest questions this offseason is what they are going to do at QB next season. Maybe they find a trade partner for Cutler (Bills?) and maybe they don’t, but even if Cutler is still around they need to bring in legitimate competition. The Bears aren’t going to find a long-term starter on the free agent scrap heap and given their track record in the draft, I don’t have any faith that they will find one in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft. If Winston is available at 7, the Bears will need to give it serious consideration.