After trading away a locker room favorite, safety Quandre Diggs, the Detroit Lions need to find another defensive back who can make plays and force turnovers. The Minnesota safety, Antoine Winfield Jr., brings just that to the table. Despite being slightly undersized (less than 6-feet tall) for a safety, Winfield brings good instincts and great ball skills to the table.
In his senior season at UM, Winfield went off and solidified himself as a day two pick for the 2020 NFL Draft. Once he tested very well at the combine though, those results paired with his tape, his draft stock shot up to be a late first-round to early second-round pick. Winfield intercepted seven passes in his final season for the Gophers and defended another pass while racking up 85 tackles and housing one of his interceptions.
His knack for making plays on the ball, says NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, is due to his natural instincts and ability to recognize plays early on their development. He can also match-up with tight ends one-on-one and suitable provide run support due to a compact frame and on-field intensity.
Head coach Matt Patricia could use a player with Winfield’s abilities and versatility to move around the back-end of the defense. A safety trio of Tracy Walker, Winfield, and either Tavon Wilson or Will Harris would give Detroit plenty of exciting options on game day. The Lions have lacked a play-making secondary piece for a while now, but adding Winfield Jr. in the second-round would solve that problem for them.