Buccaneers: Antoine Winfield Jr. has a chance to start as a rookie

Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came away with an absolute steal in the second-round of the 2020 NFL Draft and they may have a rookie starter on their hands.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected S Antoine Winfield Jr. with their second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and, honestly, it was a complete steal.

Winfield Jr. was considered one of the top safeties in the class and, depending on which analyst you listen to, he was as high as No. 2 on the board in terms of safeties.

When looking at his film, Buccaneers fans should get excited.

Winfield Jr. is a physical safety who shows great discipline and an ability to go up pick the ball off. He’s solid in coverage and projects as a strong safety at the next level.

Though the Buccaneers have solid depth at the safety position, there is reason to believe that Winfield Jr. could step in and become a starter from Day 1 as a rookie.

When you look at that safety spot, you can see that there’s going to be plenty of competition this coming fall. The Bucs re-signed veteran Andrew Adams and have a plethora of young talented options in Jordan Whitehead, Justin Evans and Mike Edwards.

At this point, though, I would firmly expect Winfield Jr. to win that strong-safety position and for Whitehead to be the starter at the free safety spot. That will allow Evans and Edwards an opportunity to fill in and compete with Adams, who’ll likely remain at the strong safety position behind Winfield Jr.

It may take a few games just because of the sheer nature of learning a defense- and the fact that the Bucs have a few veterans who have been in the system- but there’s no reason to believe that Winfield Jr.’s talent won’t eventually win out.

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Tampa Bay fans are overlooking just how talented this guy can be and they’re going to find out really quick that he has the ability to be a mainstay in the secondary for years to come with the organization.