The NFL draft is an inexact science, and that’ll never change. Nobody will ever be able to predict, with an ounce of certainty, that a 6th round pick like Tom Brady will have a better NFL career than any QB in the history of the sport.
Quarterback is the most difficult position to predict. Drew Brees went from the 2nd round to a Hall of Fame, Super Bowl-winning QB. Russell Wilson’s success. Aaron Rodgers sitting for three years and then becoming a Hall of Famer.
Which brings us to Jameis Winston. Many (such as myself) were lukewarm on Winston coming out of Florida State because of his well-chronicled off-the-field issues. But NFL analyst Greg Cosell took it a step further. Cosell told a radio station in January:
“My initial study of Goff tells me that I think (Goff is) a more natural and better overall thrower than (TitansQB Marcus) Mariota. I think he’s a better prospect than Jameis Winston,” Cosell told WGFX-FM in Nashville, Tennessee. “Where he goes? I can’t answer that, but from studying it preliminarily, that’s how I see it with Jared Goff.”
The Rams must have agreed, because they made a big trade to move up and get Goff. But they probably already have buyer’s remorse. Goff didn’t win the starting job in LA. And he’s not the backup. He’s 3rd string – behind Case Keenum and Sean Mannion.
What did Goff see? It’s unknown as of now. But as if the Winston/Goff comments were a massive whiff, Cosell said something even worse about Winston in April of 2015, comparing him to … Zach Mettenberger (whom I liked coming out of LSU, but not nearly this much):
“You look for traits. When you do that with Jameis Winston … he’s a pocket quarterback for the most part. His strengths are anticipation. Zach Mettenberger, by the way, is a pocket quarterback who is very good at making anticipatory throws, arguably better than Jameis Winston at making anticipatory throws. Zach Mettenberger actually has a bigger arm than Jameis Winston,” Cosell told Nashville radio station 104.5 The Zone. “They’re both a little bit slow-twitch in the pocket. They’re both a little bit heavy-footed, which of course are negatives, but they’re very similar in that regard. In many of the traits, and I’m just scratching the surface by the way, but in many of the traits that you look for, you would say that they’re similar and that Mettenberger is a little bit better.
“… They’re not that different. When Zach Mettenberger came out of LSU and Jameis Winston’s coming out of Florida State, there’s not a whole lot (of) difference when you just look at traits and attributes.”
Mettenberger spent his first two seasons with the Titans before being released in May. The Chargers picked him up … and then released him last month. Now, he’s trying to get on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster.