Antoine Winfield Jr. vs. Jeremy Chinn
We’ll start with a comparison at the same position. Jeremy Chinn and Antoine Winfield Jr. were both steals in the second round. As the two best safeties in the class, the Buccaneers and Panthers have locked the position up for the foreseeable future.
With two players in the same position, a straight statistical comparison is the easiest, although stats don’t tell the whole story.
Chinn had more tackles than Winfield and also added two touchdowns off his takeaways. Winfield’s team played ahead more, and his opportunities to make plays diminished on the much better defensive team.
Despite playing alongside phenomenal defensive players like Lavonte David and Devin White to soak up many plays in the middle of the field, Winfield was still able to make his presence known. Chinn has the slight statistical advantage, but that was due to a weaker defense overall that forced him to make better plays.
If this award was rookie defensive MVP, Chinn might get the nod, but the award goes to the best rookie, and Winfield distinguishes himself as the better player by making a name for himself on a much better defense in his first season.
As far as safeties are concerned, Winfield was able to separate himself from the pack as the best at the position in the class with the most overall team success, and while Chinn had a great season, he shouldn’t pass Winfield in this race.