First Time Pro Bowler

July 15th, 2020

Lofty expectations

If you were banking on Vita Vea making his first Pro Bowl this year, one member of the NFL Media family suggests you are wrong.

Over at, Mark Sessler decided to pick a player from each team that may make his first Pro Bowl this season. Joe would have guessed Vita Vea because he is on the cusp of being a dominant defensive tackle, perhaps second only to Aaron Donald.

But no, Joe would have guessed wrong. Instead, Sessler believes a Bucs rookie might make his first Pro Bowl this year. And no, it is not first-round pick Tristan Wirfs.

Instead, Sessler is putting all his chips on safety Antoine Winfield.

The vast majority of Tampa’s starry offensive parts have already made the Pro Bowl. If we can tear ourselves away from Tom Brady and friends for just a second, I present to you the case of Antoine Winfield Jr. His 5-foot-9 frame and notable injury history are talking points, but so are his unteachable instincts, closing speed, versatility and NFL bloodline. Winfield doubled as a safety and slot corner at Minnesota and said at the NFL Scouting Combine that he patterns his game after Tyrann Mathieu. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles helped unleash Honey Badger in Arizona and knows exactly what path to follow with Winfield.

Now slow down!

Let’s not tag Winfield as the next Honey Badger quite yet. First, he’s had no offseason with the Bucs. That’s big. So he has a lot of cramming to do just to get on the field in New Orleans to open the season.

Now Joe is very high on Winfield. It was a helluva pick in the second round and Joe thinks this guy is a baller. And Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles works well with safeties.

Joe just thinks the lack of an offseason is going to jam all rookies this year, not just Winfield.

19 Responses to “First Time Pro Bowler”

  1. Kalind Says:

    I think Devin White woulda been my Vea alternate….

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree,,,,Devin White would be my pick….

  3. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Oh, not much on this. It’s hard to be a safety in any capacity and be a first year pro-bowler. I think Vita Vea or even Devin White could be realistic. But, sure, why not all three? We can dream, right.

  4. gp Says:

    How about we have a number of players voted in who don’t play because they’re preparing for a more important game?

  5. D-Rome Says:

    If Vea stays healthy he’ll be a Hall of Famer one day.

  6. Sport Says:

    Marpet and Jensen. AW is a solid choice, because we all know the pro bowl is a popularity contest. AW will be talked about alot because of his Pops and all the onslaught of national games will elevate all our players.

    LD to one pro bowl? Sad…

    In BA I Trust!

  7. SB Says:

    I wasn’t aware of the injury history. That is always a concern to me.

  8. doctor_berto Says:

    Ngata turned into a stud his third season so hopefully Vea can follow suit

  9. Leighroy Says:

    Good points on Vea and White. IDK if they’re members of “Tom Brady and Friends” as Sessler references in his article, but I think Jensen and Marpet have a shot too.

    They’re both getting some run in random “top 10 centers/guards in the NFL” lists within the blogospere, so there’s already an awareness of their skills. Plus 5 primetime games protecting Brady (if all goes well) would boost their stock too.

    But I like what gp said! Let’s have 8 guys named but none of them play in that silly game.

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    I’d be curious what the team and league expectations for rookie Mathieu were…

  11. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Well, after years of his father terrorizing Bucs receivers, It will be nice to have a Winfield on our side! Very solid pick indeed.

  12. Rayjay1122 Says:

    I am excited about how much knowledge Brady will share with the whole defense. Steel sharpens steel.

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I certainly accept Joe’s point about lack of prep for our rookies and younger players.

    The good news for Winfield and the rest of our young DB’s is that the other team has faced Covid problems as well and traditionally offenses lag behind defenses at the start of the season.

    The Bucs are semi fortunate on offense. We have the same coaching staff…pretty much OL in tact…targets all back….the major new piece alas is the most important piece. We have a new QB. On the positive side he’s the GOAT and at 43 has seen it all…he should catch on quickly.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    Haha (long sigh). That’s a hoot. A rookie? A rookie safety? A rookie safety with no off-season? But hey id no doubt love to see him do it. It was Todd Bowels that made the pick in the second round so about two or three more years he could be dominant.

  15. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    If I was going to make a bet, I think Jamel Dean will make the pro bowl. He has the speed, length and greatly improved his cover skill by the end of the season last year.

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    Can we play a couple of games first before announcing rookie Pro Bowlers?

  17. Pigsueybucsfan Says:

    To like the way your thinking. GO BUCS!

  18. Clean House Says:

    Vea is a different type of player than Aaron Donald,
    not the same conversation. Sorry.
    And it would be nice to have a rookie come in and take the league by storm, but it seems rare especially for the Bucs.

    It would be a real exciting bonus if that happened but seems a long shot.

  19. Scott Wilhelm Says:

    Second only to Aaron Donald? Someone needs to get a clue.