2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Minnesota S Antoine Winfield Jr.

PFN Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline's scouting report on 2020 NFL Draft prospect S Antoine Winfield Jr. of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota Golden Gophers

Career Snapshot
Two-year starter who was named First Team All-America and made 88 tackles (3.5 for loss) with three sacks and a conference-best seven interceptions as a sophomore in 2019. Suffered a season-ending foot injury that required surgery after four games in 2018, one year after he suffered a season-ending hamstring injury after four games in 2017. Started nine games as a true freshman and made 52 tackles (2.5 for loss) with one interception and three pass breakups.

Athletic, instinctive defensive back with great bloodlines. Quick to read and diagnose, remains disciplined with assignments, and plays aggressive football. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands to protect himself, and shows the ability to shed blocks. Works hard to defend the run, displays a great closing burst to the action and wraps up tackling.

Fluidly flips his hips in transition and loses nothing when he turns to run with opponents. Constantly around the action. Possesses a great head for the ball, quickly picks up coverage assignments, and immediately tracks the pass in the air. Looks like a receiver in the secondary the way he plays the ball. Sacrifices his body to make plays and has a vicious attitude.

Must play a little more under control. Seems to get too excited and takes himself from the action. Lack of height will be an issue for some teams. Has a thin body of work and only played in eight games prior to 2019.

Winfield’s production was off the charts last season, and he’s more than just an opportunistic defensive back; he’s a good football player with instincts and ball skills. His size and height limitations will depress his draft stock, but like his dad, he’s a very competitive defensive back with a bright NFL future.

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Tony Pauline is the Chief Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @TonyPauline.


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