4. ANTOINE WINFIELD, S, MINNESOTA
Antoine Winfield, the Big Ten defensive back of the year is listed at 5-foot-10 195 lbs. He will become a day two draft pick with some potential star talent.
Winfield excels heavily as more of a two-high safety and is a sure thing in the run game. This doesn’t necessarily mean he cannot help in the passing game. In 2019, he recorded 88 tackles (3.5 for loss), three sacks, seven interceptions, one pass defended, and two forced fumbles
Winfield would excel in both zone and man coverage schemes. He’s one of the best playing a deep half and keeping everything in front of him, as he recorded 7 picks. When the football is in the air he takes aggressive routes to take it away, not just knock it down.
If you want a high energy, fearless and exceptionally well tackler in the run game than Winfield could be one of the very best in this year’s Draft class, similar to his father, Antoine Winfield Sr. Who played for the Minnesota Vikings.
Winfield has two major areas of concern for NFL teams. The first being elite range as a single high safety and getting over the top of routes. His speed may not cut it in the NFL but he makes up it up with his high football IQ.
The other major area of concern is injuries. Winfield suffered back to back injuries against Maryland in consecutive years. His style of play is aggressive and he throws his body around. Hopefully, he can hold up with his size in the NFL.
If Winfield can hold up and withstand any injuries that may come his way than he has the potential to be an outright steal in the NFL draft. Oh, and did I mention he is a tremendous punt returner and he can bring value to just about any special teams unit.