Buccaneers draft safety Antoine Winfield Jr. in 2nd round

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed their leaky secondary by adding safety Antoine Winfield Jr. out of Minnesota in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft at 45th overall.

His father, Antoine Winfield Sr., was drafted in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft and went on to have a 14-year career, nine of which were spent with the Minnesota Vikings.

Winfield should be a solid addition to a pass defense that ranked 30th in the NFL in 2019 and gave up 270 yards per game.

As a free safety, Winfield won the Big 10 Defensive Back of the Year Award. He recorded seven interceptions in his redshirt sophomore year.

Prospect Profile

School: Minnesota
Height: 5-9
Weight: 203 lbs

Positives

  • Elite instincts with a natural feel for the game
  • Quickly processes route combinations and makes early breaks on the ball
  • Enough athleticism and fluidity for man coverage in the slot
  • Coverage range to play deep center field safety role
  • Great tracking ability and ball skills at the catch point
  • Turnover machine with knack for making a big play (seven INTs in 2019)
  • Aggressive coming downhill in run support
  • Good pursuit speed and angles to the ball
  • Physical tackler with good success rate

Negatives

  • Size will be an issue against big targets downfield
  • Frame limits tackle radius in space
  • Durability a concern at the next level
  • Played eight games over 2017 and 2018 seasons due to foot and hamstring injuries

Bottom line

Winfield faces questions about his injury history, as missing all but four games in two consecutive seasons significantly limited the 21-year-old's opportunities to put his skills on tape. However, he showed his talent once healthy in 2019. The son of a former Pro Bowl cornerback, Winfield makes his impact primarily through instincts and processing speed. He possesses the coverage range to play deep up the middle, and he's an aggressive and physical player when attacking in run support. His size will give him some issues against tight ends in man coverage, but there's just so much to love about the rest of Winfield's game.

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Buccaneers draft safety Antoine Winfield Jr. in 2nd round
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