In the second round of the NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose to bolster the secondary. With the 45th pick in the second round, the Buccaneers took Antoine Winfield Jr., safety out of Minnesota. Winfield is the son of Antoine Winfield, who played in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and the Minnesota Vikings.
What Antoine Winfield, Jr. Brings To The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are banking on the young Winfield to help out the defense. Tampa Bay’s defense struggled against the pass last season, giving up 270 yards per game, which was good for 30th in the NFL. Also, their defense gave up 28 points per game, so it needs to improve in both sections.
Antoine Winfield Jr. will bring versatility to the Buccaneers defense; he can line up at safety and play center field. Also, Winfield can play down in the box and line up at the slot corner. He will probably play mostly safety for Tampa Bay, but it is good to be versatile in case somebody gets hurt, and they could plug Winfield right in.
At Minnesota, Winfield was a takeaway machine. His football instincts were outstanding and it led to a lot of takeaways in his senior season. Last season, Winfield had seven interceptions and 83 total tackles. Winfield is a physical player, but when the ball is near, he will catch it and is a threat to take it to the house. Tampa Bay needs a player like this to make plays in their secondary that struggled last season.
Winfield is also a good tackler. He probably learned that from his father, who was a good tackler as well when he played. While not being that fast and on the small side at 5’9″, the young Winfield makes up for it with his physical play and instincts. If needed, Winfield can punt return as well. As a junior, he returned a punt for a touchdown. Tampa Bay taking Winfield in the draft was an outstanding pick and he will be an excellent addition to the secondary.
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