3. Antoine Winfield, Minnesota
Size: 5-9, 203
The Good: A difference-maker who knows the game and plays like he has the opposing team’s playbook memorized, he’s always in the right position with an uncanny knack to make the key play at the right times.
Amazing as a freshman, he missed most of his next two seasons only to come back fresh and with an attitude, making 83 stops with seven interceptions and three sacks as a senior.
Combine his intangibles, playmaking ability and 4.45 speed, and he’s got all the tools and skills to be a high-end starter and superstar in someone’s secondary.
The Not-So-Good: It would be nice if he was a wee bit bigger. He’s a compact 5-9 and 203 pounds, and there’s no problem getting physical, but he was banged up too often in his Gopher career. He’s a good tackler, but he’s not going to blow up NFL guys.
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: His father – Antoine Winfield, Sr. – was a special NFL talent, but that’s a high bar to set for the son. Jr. is going to be terrific, he’ll be an instant starter and possible leader for any secondary, but he’s got to be durable. He’s going to make something big happen whenever he’s on the field.
Projected Round: Second