2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Antoine Winfield Jr.

  • Antoine Winfield Jr., 5-9/203

  • Safety

  • Minnesota

  • Antoine Winfield Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Instinctive
  • Tremendous coverage safety
  • Can play single high free safety
  • Very fast; covers a lot of ground
  • Excellent ball skills
  • Good hands
  • Plays the ball well
  • Good vision
  • Doesn’t take false steps in coverage
  • Disciplined on the back end
  • Willing to get physical
  • Solid tackler
  • Keeps plays in front of him
  • Steady at covering receivers over the top
  • Man-coverage ability on slot receivers
  • Fluid; can flip his hips and run
  • Always around the ball
  • NFL pedigree
  • Experienced

  • Weaknesses:
  • Short
  • Will struggle with receivers and tight ends making catches over him
  • Can get boxed out
  • Can get pushed around
  • Free safety only
  • Doesn’t fit as the eighth man in the box
  • Not interchangeable to play free or strong safety

  • Summary: Being the son of a player who had a good NFL career can bring a lot of expectations and pressure. Antoine Winfield played 14 NFL seasons after being a first-round pick out of Ohio State. His son, Antoine Winfield Jr., was able to live up to the hype during the course of his playing career at Minnesota. After some solid years, Winfield had a massive 2019 campaign in which he totaled 85 tackles with seven interceptions, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass broken up. Winfield then had a very good workout at the NFL Scouting Combine, including a 4.45-second time in the 40-yard dash.

    In pass coverage, Winfield is a dangerous play-maker who has good instincts and covers a lot of ground on the back end. He is a true ballhawk who is a threat to create turnovers for his defense. Winfield plays the ball well and shows very good field vision. He is a disciplined defender on the back end who doesn’t take false steps in coverage. With his speed, Winfield is a rangy safety who can get from the middle of the field to the sideline and is able to pick up speed receivers downfield.

    Winfield is a willing tackler in the ground game, and there are times when he dishes out some hits that are surprising for a defender of his size. Winfield shows nice technique as a tackler and wraps up ball-carriers. As a pro, he will not have the size to be the eighth man in the box and take on big backs. He should be a free safety who lines up downfield.

    On top of being a potential starting safety, Winfield could be a core special teams player who also contributes as a returner.

    For the next level, Winfield could be a starting free safety. He has great tape and is a pure football player who has superb instincts. The big issue for him is being a short for a defender. He is going to have issues with pro receivers and tight ends making catches over him, boxing him out, and pushing him around. Because of the size issue, Winfield probably will slip to the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft, according to team sources. They see him as a late second-round or third-round pick.

    Player Comparison: Karl Joseph. Winfield is a good player like Joseph, and both of them have problems being 5-foot-9. Joseph is more physical, while Winfield is better in coverage. In the NFL, Winfield could be a solid contributor like Joseph but has size limitations.


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