The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have selected Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr. with their second round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Winfield will have a good shot to come right in and have starting role on the Bucs defense, providing versatility and skills that they have been lacking.

With uncertainty if Justin Evans can return from a toe and foot injury, the Bucs need a playmaker. Safety was the weakest part of the Bucs defense going into the draft, and Winfield upgrades that here in the second round.

Winfield comes from a football family as his father, Antoine Winfield, Sr., played 14 seasons for the Bills and Vikings. Winfield had a strong start to his football career as a freshman recording 52 tackles and a pick-six, but consecutive season-ending foot injuries in 2017 and 2018 cost him to miss all but eight games over two seasons. Winfield ended up medically red-shirting those two years, but came back in 2019 with a bang. Winfield wound up with 83 tackles, 3.5 sacks, seven interceptions and defensive touchdown and two forced fumbles in a very good senior year. He was a finalist for the Bronco Nagurski award for the best defensive player in college. Winfield has terrific instincts on the football field and gives out punishing hits. He’s got a nice combo of a high football I.Q. and good physical traits.

PewterReport’s very own draft expert Jon Ledyard had a full scouting report on the newest Bucs player. 

“The biggest concerns with Winfield are his size and his past injury history, which caused him to take two medical redshirt seasons. He played at a high level in college despite the first concern, and the second is something I can’t speak to from my vantage point.

“What I can speak to is Winfield’s play-making ability and processing speed on the back end, rarely getting caught out of position and playing with excellent route diagnostic ability in deep coverage. The speedy safety will run and hit in run defense too, never hesitating to fly downhill, sift through trash and get into the mess around the box or out on the perimeter.

“Winfield lacks elite range (still has very good range) and has a hitch coming out of his pedal to close top-down on the football, which may cause some teams to slide him into the slot. His reps there were impressive, but limited this past season, as Minnesota predominantly played him deep or in the box. I think he can be one of the more versatile safeties in this class, not indifferent from Tyrann Mathieu in that way, but Winfield may also have some slight limitations that could keep him from reaching the same level of elite impact as the Honey Badger year-to-year.”

Watch Winfield Jr.’s Minnesota highlight video below.

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Alldaway 2.0

Very good pick. He is very tough and has a nose for the ball like his dad.

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geno711

Also reminds me of Bowles and Arians taking 5’9″ Honey Badger in the 3rd round and playing him at safety and not worrying about size – just understanding the guy could play.

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AlbJack65

Well put Geno. “Measurables” and combine performance and “big school pedigree” don’t hold a candle to the most important question: Can he play?

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Devasher

Love the pick. The right spot for him.

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Joelmieses

Great second Round Pick!

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artpac

This is probably my favorite pick of the last few years.

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plopes808

I was hoping for a RB but looks like all the top picks were already gone. I’m guessing there isn’t much good news surrounding Justin Evans. Sad, that kid had the potential to be really good with our improved secondary.

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BucRy

I thought it was going to be Dobbins at first, but this was a great pick too.

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bucballer

Me too BucRy! I would’ve bet the house that it would be Dobbins… and i would’ve lost! Figured it was going to be one of the two for sure as they both filled holes.

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tpeluso

Dobbins was still out there, but he’s not the kind of RB we need. Winfield was the best value for need we could’ve gotten.

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BucRy

Exactly, I just thought that’s who the bucs would go for. I feel that there’s still plenty of backs out there so this was a great value pick while also filling a need.

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Knightrider79

Since he’s injured you can’t really count him as part of the team. If he comes back it’s a bonus but you have to prepare like he’s not here, cause he isn’t.

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chefboho

This was a need and many had him going before our pick so I like it. Hopefully he stays healthy because he’s a baller when on the field.

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Alldaway 2.0

Bucs secondary is now loaded with young talent. Bowles must be excited to add another defensive piece he can use.

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BucRy

Wow, great pick at that spot. I’m loving the draft so far.

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bucballer

Quality pick! Day 1 Starter. Fills a hole. I don’t think there will be too many negative opinions on this pick. Solid pick and didn’t reach for a player out of need. I like it…a lot!

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76bucsfan46

Great pick, love this draft so far.

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BucWonder

Great pick. BPA, and at a position of need. Two picks. Two Wows.

Go Bucs!

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BigSombrero

I like this pick! Great bloodlines and speed at FS. I didn’t expect him to be there. Hopefully his dad will come around OBP.

Go Bucs!!!

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BigSombrero

Now that Indy picked Taylor, might the Bucs trade for Marlon Mack?

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BigSombrero

Cam Akers to LA!!! Yes!!!!!!!!

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BigSombrero

Dobbins to Baltimore. Kansas City and Baltimore put their priorities on RB. The AFC is gonna be a murderers row.

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geno711

Glad you now realize that CEH was the best back to pick in the draft and that KC was smart to do that.

See you can change!

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martinii

Don’t ever bitch about not having a running game. Had a chance to get one of two best RBs in the draft and of course like every year we pick a DB. I’m sick of Licht, have no confidence in Arians and can promise with everything this team did well this offseason 7-9 season without running game.

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BigSombrero

Had a chance to get any RB they loved. Chose to trade up for a blocker in round 1. Im not gonna complain. They still have Brady for a year or two.

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thewbacca

Just watched his presser. S/O to Mark Cook for asking a good question (how do you fit in Bowles defense). All the other reporters basically asked him if his dad being in the NFL helped him. Awful questions. Jenna Laine with 2 about his dad intercepting Brady.

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BigSombrero

Carolina got better on defense in the first 2 rounds. DT D.Brown, DE Gross-Matos, S Jeremy Chinn(Steve Atwater’s cousin). Bridgewater added, McCaffery extended, GMC cut.

Overall, a good off season for Carolina.

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owlykat

You are right about how Carolina has improved, Big Sombrero. Now if we make the Super Bowl against the Chiefs. How is a 5’9” Safety going to tackle the mammoth KC TE like Kielce. I don’t think so! The better Safety Pick for that is Jeremy Chinn who is 6’3” and runs a faster 40 at 4.46 than Winfield and hits like a linebacker. He too is a good playmaker with thirteen interceptions and dominated at the Senior Bowl so Licht should have known about him. He was picked at 64. Likely BA wanted Winfield as the next Honey Badger… Read more »

EricNV

Good pick. RB or WR next pick.

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Dman

Really like this player. Tells me we may have seen the end of J. Evans, which is just a shame. Winfield can start Day 1!

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drdneast

So we have a safety with foot problems who is constantly in the operating room so we draft another safety with the same history. How Licht like.

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Right. Flood picking by injury history I guess. He missed almost 2 years of development in college, how can he be ready for the next level. We will see.

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matador

Separate from this being a good pick, Greg Auman’s comment on Twitter gets to the heart of how damaging Licht’s repetitive redrafting of multiple positions has been, leaving us with no quality depth on both lines forcing us to rent players via FA that other teams were willing to let get away.

“…Last five drafts, Bucs have put 10 draft picks in top four rounds into defensive backs, and 10 into the rest of the team combined.”

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drdneast

Matador, maybe because Licht is an idiot.

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Wadeless

I think this pick is suspect. Winfield is a good player but we’ve used 7 picks in the past two and half drafts on DB’s. 9 in the last three and half drafts. We needed OL. Honestly feel we could have spent 4 picks on the OL this draft. Brady doesn’t move as good as Winston and Winston had ZERO time.

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SenileSenior

All I can say to those of you who don’t like this pick is “Keep studying Todd Bowles defense.”. This season will be year two in his scheme. He has most of his guys with one year under their belts already. If and when they really get to practice in the normal way Bowles will take his scheme to the next level. By mid season they should really have it down. With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work we will have a team which is truly ready in all facets of the game to make that… Read more »

AlbJack65

Uh-oh! TWO picks from the Big Ten instead of the CSA conference or the ACC in the first two picks! The “good ole boys” are going to be up in arms about this! LOL! I’m no college football expert because it’s unwatchable, but from everything I’ve read these seem like two very good picks to start the draft.

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scubog

For those of you who didn’t think this team needed a safety; just remember, they brought in journeyman Andrew Adams off the street and put him in the starting lineup. Just look at the roster and the best player is Jordan Whitehead, who was a 4th rounder. Apparently Justin Evans is not assured of returning to form and former 3rd rounder Mike Edwards is only going into year two and still developing. The rest are “just a guy” and OK for depth, but not as starters.

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fredster

Not in love with this pick nor do I hate it. We canned Winston for 43 old Brady and are in win now mode. We had a shit run game last year and really for last 5 years. I just can’t believe Winfield will give us better chance to win now then Dobbins or several others would have that were on the board in 2nd rd. Winfield was ranked that much higher than those players with his injuries and size concerns? If not for the win now mentality I probably like the pick better. If J. Evans can play this… Read more »