2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Antoine Winfield Jr.
Antoine Winfield Jr., 5-9/203
Antoine Winfield Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Tremendous coverage safety
Can play single high free safety
Very fast; covers a lot of ground
Excellent ball skills
Plays the ball well
Doesn't take false steps in coverage
Disciplined on the back end
Willing to get physical
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
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.