Dee Winters, LB, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report

After leading his team to a championship game appearance, what does TCU LB Dee Winters' scouting report suggest is his current 2023 NFL Draft projection?

The 2023 NFL Draft class features a stacked group of defensive players, and coming off a career-best season in which he helped lead his team to the National Championship, TCU LB Dee Winters heads into the draft with moderate hype surrounding him. While most of the conversation has been focused on the top names in the class, what does Winters’ scouting report suggest about his NFL draft stock?

Dee Winters NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: TCU
  • Year: Senior

The No. 40 athlete in the nation and No. 87 overall player in the state of Texas, Winters spent the majority of his time in high school on both sides of the ball — primarily as a wide receiver. After a successful career, he went on to choose TCU over Arkansas, Texas Tech, Northwestern, and Arizona State.

Having originally started his career at safety, Winters made the transition to linebacker and quickly showed his instincts for the position. After recording 28 tackles as a freshman, Winters was No. 2 for the Horned Frogs in 2020 with 65 tackles, including 9.5 for a loss, all of which came in his final six games.

2021 saw Winters take his game to a new level as he started all 12 games and led TCU with 74 tackles while finishing third on the team with five tackles for loss.

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One of the best stories of the 2022 season was TCU and their eventual run to the College Football National Championship Game. They never would’ve made it that far if not for the strength of their defense, including Winters, who was the CFP Semifinal Defensive Most Valuable Player of the Game after totaling seven tackles, including three for a loss, a 29-yard interception return for a touchdown, and a pass break up in the win over Michigan.

Winters tied Dylan Horton for the team lead with 14.5 tackles for loss, and he finished second with 7.5 sacks. Winters’ 79 tackles ranked fourth on the team and brought his career total to 264, which ranked him No. 1 amongst current Horned Frogs.

The awards piled in as Winters was named 2022 AP First-Team All-Big 12 and was also a 2022 First-Team All-Big 12 as voted on by the coaches. Winters also accepted his invitation to participate in the 2023 Reeses Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

At 5’11” and 227 pounds, Winters is slightly undersized compared to the NFL standard. However, there is nothing saying he cannot be a versatile linebacker, as Winters has both inside and outside experience. As more of a “tweener” prospect, what does the scouting report say about Winters, and what are the strengths he’s bringing to the NFL?

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Dee Winters

Strengths: Fierce, athletic linebacker who plays aggressive football. Breaks down well and goes sideline to sideline. Covers a lot of area on the field, possesses a closing burst, and drives his shoulders through ball handlers. Quickly locates the action, possesses a closing burst, and sells out defending the run. Fires upfield on the blitz. Remains disciplined with coverage assignments.

Weaknesses: Late reacting in coverage, which results in big plays for the opposition. Displays poor ball skills. Lack of height will create mismatches in coverage. Marginal growth potential.

Overall: Winters is a fierce run-and-chase linebacker whose game has limitations. He offers possibilities on the inside of a 3-4 alignment, but Winters must significantly improve his play against the pass, or he’ll be nothing more than a two-down defender.

Dee Winters Combine Measurements and Results

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 227
  • Arm Length: 31 5/8″
  • Hand Size: 8 5/8″
  • Bench Press: DNP
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.49
  • Vertical Jump: 30.5″
  • Broad Jump: 9’9″

TCU LB Dee Winters Current Draft Projection

While there is no Micah Parsons in this draft amongst LBs, the 2023 class is loaded with defensive talent. However, the bulk of that comes from the EDGE and CB groups, which will feel like they wil fill over half the draft for the first few rounds.

MORE: When Is the 2023 NFL Draft?

While Winters might need to wait a bit to hear his name called, it’s highly unlikely he will need to sweat it out with his family. Winters is currently the LB8 in the 2023 NFL Draft class, according to Tony Pauline’s Big Board, and the No. 124 overall player. With a draft grade of 3.53, Winters is slated to be picked inside the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Winters has the upside to be a starting Linebacker if things break right, but he will likely need to make his first mark on special teams. Winters has the chance to be a reliable player and be a staple on a roster, even if he is never the most impactful player on a down-to-down basis.

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