Immediate Impact

May 2nd, 2020

Big prediction.

A lot of folks believe first-round pick Tristan Wirfs will be the Bucs’ rookie with the biggest impact.

But a panel of football sophist thinks another Bucs rookie will cement himself as a long-time starter. Over at Bleacher Report, a committee of writers determined who will be the best rookie in a variety of NFL categories and named Bucs secound-round pick Antoine Winfield to lead all rookies in picks this season.

Winfield has an NFL pedigree—his father spent 14 years with the Vikings and Bills, made three Pro Bowls and notched 27 career interceptions. But the younger Winfield is also quite the playmaker—he piled up 83 tackles, three sacks and seven interceptions in 2019.

That last number ranked fourth among all FBS players last season, and it’s that nose for the football (plus the clear path to a starting role as a rookie) that leaves Winfield as the panel’s pick to lead all first-year players in interceptions.

If Winfield leads all rookies in picks, that tells Joe he’s a home run selection.

It would also suggest to Joe that teams are throwing the ball a lot on the Bucs. Often, that happens when teams are regularly trailing in games.

46 Responses to “Immediate Impact”

  1. K2 Says:

    The Bucs have a great run defense. So, teams will need to pass (a lot) or settle for 50 yards per game.

  2. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    That would be a pleasant surprise…to out of the blue to after many years to have a real ball hawk at the top of the defense…bring on some good defense !

  3. PhillyBuc Says:

    Hopefully his physical play transfers to the NFL
    Do have concerns about his size. We don’t need Hargreaves 2.0

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    I have watched some of his film and two things stand out (to this inexperienced eye). First; he has a center fielder’s mentality. He sees everything quickly and reacts with amazing speed. Second, don’t know what his 40 yard time was, but I have never seen anyone quicker to zoom in to make a tackle once he decides on his target. Many behind the lines. He looks like a great pick – and likely will be a DB leader.

  5. Marine Buc Says:

    I really like Winfield’s versatility. Hopefully he can play FS/SS and CB when needed.

  6. AwShbucs Says:

    Teams are also forced to throw the ball when you have the leagues best run defense!

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Ronde Barber was 5’10”, so I know shorter players can produce. Brent Grimes was 5’10” also. However, that was a long time ago and since then, targets have gotten bigger and stronger.

    So I don’t know. He could be one of those players who goes against the grain and becomes legendary. Or he could be dragged ten yards as he latches on to bigger guys. We’ll see.

  8. BucEmUp Says:

    We drafted a DB who actually had picks in college?!? No?! We already have MJ Stewart though?!

  9. Marine Buc Says:

    Joe – stop deleting my comments or I will stop visiting your site.

  10. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Bonzai – imo a more “apropo” comparison is Bob Sanders. 5-9ish but thick build, closes in like a missile and will lay you out, but also plays the ball well. Plays like a center fielder like another commenter mentioned. And like Bob Sanders, the only thing that can derail him is injury. Otherwise – you can be your a** he will be starting game 1

  11. Bobby M. Says:

    The theme I like with a few of our picks is proven coaching. Iowa is a program with exceptional coaching for linemen….Minnesota has PJ Fleck who was raved about within One Buc Place and his guys will be trained to be masters of their craft. The others I think are a pure gamble like any other draft but those 3 players I think come as prepared as one could hope for.

    For me….you have to get quality starters/contributors from rds 1-3. They don’t necessarily have to be Pro Bowlers/All Pros. Lavonte David is proof of that. Highly productive player that will likely get a third contract.

  12. Max Power Says:

    @ go for the face

    Solid comparison. I hope AW can stay healthy unlike Sanders…

  13. Swampbuc Says:

    Teams throw on the Bucs because until the last six or so games of 2019, they couldn’t cover a corpse with a blanket.

  14. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    A few scouts had Antoine Winfield as the top safety. His instinct is incredible. If he would have been 2-3 inches taller, he would have been a top 10 pick.

  15. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    I believe the correct pick should have been Cam Akers or JK Dobbins. A sure thing compared to one a Gump’s 2nd round rolls of the dice.

    Safeties are cheap and a dime a dozen. Many Pro Bowl safeties are available in free agency. 2nd round picks are at a premium and should not be squandered like 4th rounders.

    By the way, what happened to last year’s 4th round safety, you know the one with the cute honey badger hairdo?

  16. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says, “Safeties are cheap and a dime a dozen. Many Pro Bowl safeties are available in free agency. 2nd round picks are at a premium and should not be squandered like 4th rounders.”

    In the past few years, tons of safeties went in the second round. Almost all of the good ones are gone by the third. I think a good safety with ball-hawking are a premium. Not saying you can’t find gems in the later rounds but not many safeties will have both good tackling and ball skills. Plus, try find a safety with a sub 4.55 speed past the second – very few.

  17. Steven007 Says:

    Ghost, you mean a sure thing like… Darrell Henderson? Newsflash, no one’s a sure thing. You should know that. As a Bucs fan you should hope that Vaughn blows up and is great.

  18. ©MadMax Says:

    Im liking our other #11 for Safety. Yes we missed on the main #11 Simmons, but we did the next best thing and went after Winfield.

    I actually think he will be a better true Safety than Simmons, especially at FS. I just liked the versatility of Simmons to be used as LB as well, especially in Bowle’s D. Things happen for a reason and I think worked out best. We got a BEAST O lineman, and a true Safety instead of a luxury hybrid and a lower ranked O lineman.

  19. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Winfield has elite level read and react ability. You can see that immediately. His quickness pops off. There was an interception on a tipped pass that he was diving for almost before the pass was tipped. I watched the play 3 times in slow motion and I still don’t know how he knew to dive where he did to intercept the pass. The guy covers a ton of ground. Teams will not complete long rainbow throws on him. He plays centerfield like Kiermaier. If you watch him and don’t think he was a good pick, I don’t know what you’re watching.

  20. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “Teams are also forced to throw the ball when you have the leagues best run defense!”

    Unfortunately, teams have had no problem doing this against the Bucs for quite sometime.

  21. Casual Observer Says:

    What the — Well said.

  22. Bucsfan951 Says:

    With another yr experience for these young corners and Winfield playing center field (I know, still a rookie), I expect this secondary to be much better than last yr.

    I think that and the kicking game is what separates the Bucs from a playoff birth or cellar dwellers

  23. Mike Johnson Says:

    Who Knows? They said the same thing about other Buc draft picks as well. Let’em hit the field then we will see. That’s the great thing about the NFl. No hiding nowhere. You must produce for the tape.

  24. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “Ghost, you mean a sure thing like… Darrell Henderson? Newsflash, no one’s a sure thing. You should know that. As a Bucs fan you should hope that Vaughn blows up and is great.”

    Darrell is a sure thing since he was the greatest RB in NCAA history (8.2 YPC), we don’t know exactly why the Rams red-shirted him last year but he’ll he rested up nice and like Gronk, ready to roll.

    I do hope that Vaughn blows up and is great. I don’t believe that I even mentioned him though. I am rooting for him.

  25. Steven007 Says:

    By mentioning that the “correct” pick should have been those two backs you mentioned implied that Vaughn and/or Winfield was the wrong pick. I don’t care about Henderson since I’m not a Rams fan, but I certainly hope all of our picks turn out to be good ones as it seems you do as well. Fingers crossed.

  26. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can’t look at the draft in a vacuum…….we gave up a #4 for Wirfs…..another one for Gronk…..that left us with a decision.

    Winfileld in the 2nd or a RB…….that was a conscience decision……and it’s hard to really question it at this point…..we will have to see how it turns out.

    At least Winfield looks like the right Safety……

  27. mark2001 Says:

    Yes…our young DB’s looked lost at times last year. Why? Because they were almost all first and second year player in a new system. But frankly, by the end of last year, they looked like a talented group on the rise. And frankly, I expect we will see something similar to last year earlier this season…though this pandemic especially hurts the younger players in their development.

    That being said, many prognosticators think our D will be fine… haven’t heard on TV sports personality question our D, as something Brady has to overcome or compensate for. But time will tell.

  28. TOM Says:

    The problem with loser Licht & BA is I think they panicked in the 2nd & 3rd rds. They panicked when there was a run on Safties & RB’s so IMO they reached. Don’t get me wrong I hope things work out well but just making an observation. Actually I believe its more Licht than BA. because Loser Licht has a history of panic moves & reaching for players that went earlier than was expected. Example 2016 Hargreaves (under size CB) Spence (overrated) & last but not least Aquayo. (just plain awful) Picks 1,2 &3. Was there ever a Bucs GM that drafted worse with the first three picks?

  29. Jean Lafitte Says:

    If Winfield leads all rookies in picks, that tells Joe he’s a home run selection.
    It would also suggest to Joe that teams are throwing the ball a lot on the Bucs. Often, that happens when teams are regularly trailing in games.
    Or they just can’t run the ball against our defense. They are in for a rude awakening when they realize they can no-longer rely on a steady diet of turnovers from our QB to dominate us in time of possession.

  30. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Could have sworn I posted to this thread a few hours ago…

  31. Ndog Says:

    Wow it took 28 comments before an a$$hat comment came up. And look who it is surprise, surprise.

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    I was so happy to see us take a high pick on a defensive player……I was so worried they would flat out ingnore defense all together like so many fans wanted and draft OL RB WR in the first three……..I guess y’all never learned from the traiwreck that was the “Weapons for Winston” campaign.

    It’s refreshing to see a offensive HC who not going to sit by and let the defense rot.

    Based on last year’s results I say adding another piece to beef up our secondary was the way to go………..And you gotta realize the defense Bowles is running when y’all utter stupid stuff like safety’s aren’t valuable(I guess that rule don’t apply to FSU safety’s?)………I doubt it’s just some crazy sting of coincidences that Todd has always had a defense where a skilled safety can drive and is put in position to make huge game altering plays. Having a game changing saftey is a key componet to this Bowles system……..The problem is we aren’t got one the roster…….Well hello Mr Winfield!!!……..Winfield is that guy. I don’t even know how anybody can’t be excited about this.

    The no risk it philosphy is not just offense. It’s about taking them chances on defense too to make the game winning plays!!! Winfield’s job is to bring that dynamic to the secondary. Bowles will put this guy in position to win us games on defense. I’m gaa gaa about this player. And I barely even saw him hahaha.

  33. geno711 Says:

    @Ghost of Darrell Henderson

    So who is the guy for the LA Rams this season:

    Malcolm Brown
    Darrell Henderson
    Cam Akers

    Here are the rotations I see as most likely to start the season.

    1. Cam Akers then Malcolm Brown then Darrell Henderson.
    2. Malcolm Brown (again to start season) then Cam Akers then Darrell Henderson.
    3. Cam Akers then Darrell Henderson then Malcolm Brown.

    Here are quotes from a Ram beat writers;

    Akers projects as a three down running back for this team. Brown is a known quantity that runs hard and does not make mistakes – he is currently the only running back on the squad that the coaches are sure will be able to pass protect. The team is still waiting for Henderson to learn some finer points of the offense but still think he can be the home run hitter that they envisioned.


    We need a strong running game to set up our play action. Henderson isn’t proven and Brown is just solid. Akers/Henderson/Brown RBBC can be deadly. People really underestimate how much Goff needs a strong running game.

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    And if Winfield can play some good ball it puts the QBs eyes on him. If Winfield’s makes plays on passes the QB knows it and has to know where he’s at…….If Windield can be dynamic like that it will open up the whole rest of the secondary.

    Don’t you dare sleep on Bunting here…….And that exactually what will happen if Winfield takes off. Bunting gets good jumps on balls and if the QB starts looking off from him Bunting is gonna make em pay. Bunting might just have tons of great chances. I love him playing over the middle and being around the ball.

  35. JimmyJack Says:

    Who the heck is darel Henderson? What in the world are y’all talking about?

  36. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Safeties are a dime a dozen? A GOOD Safety is not. This way of thinking is why the Bucs were stuck with Chris Conte for 4 years. It’s a losers mentality.

    Darrell Henderson was a healthy scratch for most of 2019, then the Rams drafted Cam Akers in the 2nd Round. They’re already admitting their draft mistake from last year?

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    Joe in Michigan….Maybe we can chalk up fans thinking “Safety’s are a dime a dozen” to the fact that all’s we seen from defense in the entire Bucs existence is some form of the Tampa 2.

    Specifically when talking about the free safety spot in the Tampa 2 that position may the the least important on the field……..A safety in that system isn’t really asked to do a whole bunch and they kinda are a dime a dozen.

    Bowles defense is wildly different. He wants his free safety all over the place. Running g sidelines, jumping TEs, crashing down on RBs, blitzing……and yeah even playing some deep quarters. It’s a whole nother animal playing free safety in this system compared to the Tampa 2………Bowles wants a dynamic freak who can make plays all over the field from that spot.

    Even the other safety position is worth thing about. I’m pretty sure Todd wants some coverage skills there too and an ability to play all over. And I like Whitehead a lot but he may not have the versality Bowles wants. The door is open for somebody to step up as another safety for Bowles to use and get a lot of snaps.

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    And forget about Justin Evans. That’s Anderw Adams job to lose. Evans is gonna have to be special to outright win it. Don’t count on it.

  39. Craig Says:

    The Bucs got really lucky with their first two picks. In a normal year they probably would have been long gone by those two picks.

    Safety was one of their top needs and they got what could be a great one. He is also good as over the top coverage and the Bucs missed that badly.

    Winfield will get more acclaim and it will start early. He will make the defense almost complete and Bowles will be able to add more flavor to his mix this season.

    Wirfs will also make an impact this season but O-linemen don’t get noticed unless they blow it. I think Wirfs has enough focus that he won’t be noticed much.

  40. Jean Lafitte Says:


    You can’t handle the truth

  41. Joe in Michigan Says:

    JimmyJack: Agreed. Bowles knows how to use good players.

    I thought it was comical when a few posters wrote that Antione Winfield Jr. won’t be any good, because he’s a “Shrimp”. I wonder if the same people consider Brad Seaton the best player on offense because he’s 6’-8”? Is Anthony Nelson the best player on defense because he’s 6’-7”? I’ve watched enough football to know that someone 5’-9” can be successful in the NFL. Look no further than Winfield’s old man, an excellent player in the league.

  42. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “I’ve watched enough football to know that someone 5’-9” can be successful in the NFL.”

    Like the greatest running back in college football history, 5’9″ Darrell Henderson.

  43. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Will Ke’Shawn Vaughn have a better rookie year than Darrell Henderson?

  44. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    This will be my last post on Winfield and the versatility he brings to our secondary. He can legit play corner or safety. I love Winfield from a talent and pedigree perspective. He really seems to fit more at nickel than safety right now. I feel we need another pure safety though that’s starter level at that. Maybe Evans returns to form somewhat or Edwards steps up and ball out. Maybe Andrew Adams steps and has a season of a lifetime. Maybe they clear cap space and sign Eric Reid who would be a great fit here. I think if Evans comes back healthy then Edwards and Adams can form a rotation at Safety especially if Edwards comes around. Whitehead and Winfield should figure into that rotation as well as rotating at CB. I think SMB is going to be our most reliable corner though on the outside along with Dean. CD3 isn’t a slouch either though and furthermore I don’t trust the health of a lot of these guys so a rotation would suit them all best. Winfield, Evans, Dean, Whitehead and CD3 all need to be in rotation and sync with one another this season for the defense to take the next step into Elite and for the durability and availability of those players considering their injury history. I think we need to find 26 reliable players on defense for gamedays and we just may have them. Signing Eric Reid and trading D. Smith for P. Peterson would be golden too to give us some veteran superstars to develop the young guys like SMB and Dean. I feel CD3 is a definite starter with plenty of durability. Only reason I say keep Howard because he’s versatile. He legit can play WR for Brady.

  45. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Eric Reid can kneel somewhere else, IMHO.

  46. JimmyJack Says:

    Jason but that’s the thing. I don’t think we need a pure safety to play the position. Bowles will find a way to use them………..I do think he does want safety’s who have coverage skills. It’s more necessary because of all the blitz packages he wants to use. We we’re weak with coverage safety’s last year and I think that’s a big reason why we saw Todd blitz less then advertised……….I did want Simmons in the first round. He would have been a good fit. Winfield seems like a great fit for Bowles system too. Coverage is the key.