Bruce Arians makes encouraging prediction for rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr.
Another second-generational player is looking to make a splash in the upcoming NFL season. Rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was the son of former NFL cornerback Antoine Winfield Sr. He will try to showcase his wares in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp to earn his way to a starting spot.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians complimented the safety’s capabilities on the field:
“He’s an intelligent player,” Arians said, via Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s not too big for him. He’ll be competing for a starting job quickly.”
Winfield was able to make the most out of his four-year tenure with the Minnesota Golden Gophers despite missing half of his college eligibility due to injuries. In his final season with the team, he was named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, a first-team all-American member, first-team All-Big Ten member, and the Big Ten Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year in 2019.
Winfield was selected by the Buccaneers with the 45th pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He will be joining a young safety group consisting of third-year player Jordan Whitehead, sophomore Mike Edwards, and fifth-year veteran Andrew Adams. Fourth-year safety Justin Evans is still on the team’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list after spending last season on injured reserve.
Despite being given a familiar last name, the younger Winfield will aim to carve his own path in the league. The 22-year old rookie will look to make his mark on a defensive line that will obviously be overshadowed by the team’s offensive line. At the end of the day, his contribution will all be for the cause of a Tampa Bay team that is hungry to form a new dynasty this upcoming season.