There's no telling how the New York Jets feel about Jameis Winston because they don't have a coach or a general manager or a rebuilding plan in place. What they do have is a major question mark at the quarterback position. Winston is uber-talented, but if he falls to the Jets (sixth pick), the initial feeling here is they should select another player or trade the pick.
Because of his well-documented issues off the field, Winston is the ultimate boom-or-bust pick. Sure, he could come in and be the franchise quarterback the Jets haven't had since Joe Namath, but he also could continue along his current track -- an immature kid who has created too many headlines for the wrong reasons. If he couldn't stay out of trouble at Florida State, where he was sheltered and coddled, how would he react in the New York market?
"I think New York would be a bad spot for him," an NFC scout said Wednesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "He's been a celebrity for pretty much his whole life, and if you put him in that atmosphere, I think he'd pay more attention to the celebrity part of it than the football part. I don't think he has the maturity to handle it."
Winston's father told ESPN that his son will declare for the draft, providing the media with their No. 1 pre-draft storyline. He'll be this year's Johnny Manziel.
Obviously, the Jets will perform their due diligence. Winston is too talented to simply ignore. At some point, they will meet with him, trying to get into his head to determine if he'd be a good fit. Maybe, as teams gather information about his background, a different picture will emerge. Maybe he won't be seen as a major risk. But right now, on Jan. 7, the Jets should be thinking in another direction. They still have Geno Smith, who showed at the end of the season that he isn't hopeless. If they can add a decent veteran and draft a developmental quarterback in the later rounds, they'd have a full depth chart.
If Winston landed with the Jets, he'd be the face of the franchise, the big name on the marquee -- along with the new coach and new GM. That would bring enormous pressure. It'll be a new regime and a new culture, and the first draft pick, especially if he's a quarterback, has to be rock-solid. The Jets can't afford to whiff.