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FSU Pro Day: Winston confident after lengthy workout


TALLAHASSEE – Jameis Winston saw Tuesday as he does a game.

Winston, the Florida State University quarterback-turned-biggest-predraft-story-of-2015, said he had the same feeling, same approach – pretty much the same everything – entering the Seminoles' Pro Day on Tuesday at the Dunlap Training Facility on the FSU campus as he does on game days.

In that respect, felt he won Tuesday.

"I felt I did great on every throw," Winston said following an extensive workout Tuesday morning and afternoon. "You've got a tally. I think I had like five incompletions or six."

Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner who led the Seminoles to a national championship that season, worked out Tuesday with 19 other draft-eligible FSU players, a group that included at least two other potential first-round selections – defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and cornerback P.J. Williams – as well as highly-regarded center Cam Erving, defensive tackle Mario Edwards, Jr., wide receiver Rashad Greene and cornerback Ronald Darby.

Tight end Nick O'Leary did not participate in drills because of a hamstring issue.

Representatives from all 32 teams attended the workout, including large contingents from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans, the teams that hold the No. 1 and No. 2 overall selections in the April 30-May 2 NFL Draft, respectively.

Former NFL Most Valuable Player Kurt Warner, a three-time Super Bowl quarterback and now an analyst for NFL Network, called Winston's day, "solid, not great."

"I thought they had a lot of movement stuff in there that he struggled with a little bit," Warner said. "But overall, I didn't see anything that I hadn't seen on film."

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, also a former Super Bowl quarterback, said Winston's performance Tuesday did nothing to hurt his draft status.

"To me, he came in as the top quarterback and arguably a top player," Jaworski said. "Teams that need quarterbacks are at the top of the board, so he will probably go No. 1.

"That would be my guestimate at this point."

Winston met with the Titans shortly after the workout. He had visited the Buccaneers last month in a well-publicized pre-draft visit.

"It was very good, excellent," Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht said Tuesday. "He had a great day."

Images from Florida State's 2015 NFL Pro Day held at the Dunlap Training Facility in Tallahassee, Florida.

While media reports and tweets commented early Tuesday about Winston's "flabby physique," Licht said he Winston looked good to him.

"He looked to me a little bit better than the combine," Licht said. "He's been working out quite a bit. He's stayed in great shape. He looked good."

Asked why the Buccaneers should take him No. 1, Winston's reply was direct.

"Because I'm the best player in this draft," he said.

Unofficial reports had Winston completing 91 of 102 passes at the workout, with the total number of passes generally considered high by Pro Day standards.

"He threw a full nine innings – it looked good," Licht said, smiling and referring to Winston's background as a pitcher with the Florida State baseball team.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, widely considered the No. 2-rated quarterback in this draft behind Winston, completed 58 of 65 passes at his Pro Day in Eugene, Oregon, earlier this month. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, threw 65 passes at his Pro Day at the University of Central Florida last offseason.

"I just wanted to compete," Winston said. "As a quarterback, my job is to throw. I had a lot of receivers, so I wanted to throw. … I'm a competitor, 100 percent juicy juice. I'm a competitor.

"When it's time to play football, I want to play football."

Titans Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt and Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith attended Tuesday, as did New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, New York Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles and Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin. In addition to Licht, Titans General Manager Ruston Webster attended as did media from NFL Network, Yahoo Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated.

And while Winston said afterward the day without question was "a big stage," he said he handled it as he did any other such occasion.

"I felt great," he said. "Last night, I did my game ritual. Going to sleep about one o'clock, just staying up, so anxious, couldn't sleep at all because it's game day tomorrow. I kept looking at my phone and seeing the time. I just felt like it was a game, this was a big stage, this was a huge stage, just to show everyone how good we are here at Florida State. …

"It's always easy to settle down. I believe at the (NFL Scouting) Combine I showed that. Just being with the guys, man, being with my brothers was so critical. I loved it. I loved every second of it."

Also at the Pro Day:

*Jaguars assistant head coach-offense/offensive line Doug Marrone attended Tuesday, as did defensive line coach Todd Wash, defensive assistant Aaron Whitecotton and college scout Tim Mingey. …

*Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, a fifth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft from Florida State, also attended. …

*Winston opened his session with the media asking people to support the Kidz 1st Fund, the foundation of FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and his wife, Candi, that fights Fanconi Anemia. The Fishers' son, Ethan, was diagnosed with the disease in 2011. …

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