Jameis Winston offers a mixed bag in NFL preseason debut

Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie quarterback and first-overall draft pick Jameis Winston made his highly-anticipated NFL preseason debut against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday. There were some highlights and lowlights, which should be expected of a rookie in his first start.

Winston suffered through an inauspicious beginning, including taking two sacks during his first few drives where he struggled to get the Viking past the 50-yard line.

After some messy plays, Winston’s first completed pass was a 40-yard beauty to veteran wide receiver Vincent Jackson.

Winston also threw one interception which was caught by Vikings safety Antone Exum Jr. and intended for second-year wide receiver Mike Evans. Intermingled were a couple of bad snaps that pretty much had Winston looking like the rookie he is.

One of Winston’s highlights was when he used his feet to rush for eight yards and score his first NFL touchdown.

Worth noting is that Winston only had seven rushing scores during his two seasons playing for Florida State.

In the end, Winston, who played the whole first half, finished the evening completing just 9 of 19 passes for 131 yards along with the one interception and one rushing score. His bumpy debut should serve as a humbling reminder that everything doesn’t go smooth as silk once you start playing with the big boys.

Winston will have another chance to improve on his mediocre stat line when the Bucs host the Cincinnati Bengals in their second preseason game Monday, August 24.