NAME: Antoine Winfield Jr
WEIGHT: 195 pounds
In today’s Chiefs draft prospect profile, we look into another safety by trade, who could play multiple positions in Kansas City. This player’s dad played as a defensive back for both the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings. Those very similar traits that his father had, have rubbed off on him. Most of all, his instincts and football IQ shine bright on the field. Now, let’s get things started with our breakdown of Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr.
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I think what sticks out with Winfield Jr in coverage, is that he plays bigger than he really is. He is not afraid to stick his face in the fan or get disruptive with his hand in the cookie jar. With his instincts, Winfield Jr has plenty of opportunities to jump the route and provide more ball production. Like our last prospect profile we did of Jeremy Chinn, this player is rarely caught off guard or out of position. His ability to bait the quarterback into tight window throws is commonplace. Overall, Winfield Jr is sticky in coverage in spots where receivers do not expect it, like the middle of the field or up the seam for example.
With his instincts, Winfield Jr clearly works best as someone who hunts the ball or receivers. Positives in ball production result from well planned angles and not stepping out of his landmarks. Does he have the length or size that some teams covet? Not necessarily. But, Winfield Jr mitigates that with an outstanding vertical and tremendous box out and high point ability. I also wanted to make a point about how much of a finisher he is. Furthermore, Winfield Jr does not just look to knock the pass down. He makes a point in ripping and taking it away from opponents.
Once again, Winfield Jr is not afraid to stick his face in the fan or fire. He is very explosive when flying downhill to challenge opponents. He can become slowed down a bit too early at times. Elsewhere, Winfield Jr will need to work to keep his eyes up more often to see what he is hitting. This safety will definitely lay the boom on opposing receivers or running backs, though, and finishes through contact.
This area is one that you have to temper expectations with Winfield Jr. His discipline and attention to keeping his landmarks are a positive. However, Winfield Jr struggles when needing to cover with deep range. His quickness in short areas sticks out much more. To boot, his speed won’t blow you away. Winfield Jr has an ample amount of fastness to flow in space all over the field. But, if teams are expecting him to flash with long speed, it will result in erratic outcomes.
Just like we said with Jeremy Chinn yesterday, Antoine Winfield Jr could play multiple positions for the Kansas City Chiefs defense. His natural feel for the game allows him to flash in multiple areas. As a deep safety, Winfield Jr does well when cutting the field in half. He plays bigger than he is, as mentioned earlier. Consequently, teams should not be afraid to let him cover tight ends at the NFL level. Winfield Jr can also play near the line of scrimmage, in the slot or in the box. His versatility in sub packages would only increase the Chiefs ability to win in the cover 3 scheme or dime package. Finally, Kansas City would be a nice place for Winfield Jr to play the best way he knows how, with instincts and discipline.
Be on the lookout for more Chiefs offseason coverage. Included, will be more draft prospect profiles, during the home stretch to the NFL’s selections. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.