Antoine Winfield No. 7

June 25th, 2022

Legendary already.

Looking back on how this Bucs team was built, two drafts will jump out at fans.

There is the 2018 draft, where Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht selected five players in his first six selections that would end up starting for a Super Bowl winner. That’s pretty friggin’ impressive.

Then came Licht’s draft two years later with Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield in succession. You pick two Pro Bowlers, one of which became an All-Pro in his second season, that’s Warren Sapp/Derrick Brooks sort of stuff right there.

While it is way, way premature to start crafting Wirfs’ bust in Canton, he looks to be building the foundation for a Hall of Fame career.

Winfield? He’s good but has a way to go. But he’s already a Pro Bowler and Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports believes Winfield is a top-10 safety in the league ranking him at No. 7.

Antoine Winfield Jr. wasted no time making a name for himself as one of the best young safeties in the league. He helped the Bucs to a Super Bowl title his rookie year and followed that up with a coverage grade by PFF that ranked fifth among eligible safeties. The 23-year-old has tremendous vision in coverage and allowed a passer rating of just 63.9 last season. He also wasn’t responsible for a single touchdown allowed by the Bucs last season. Unlike some other safeties on this list, Winfield primarily lurks as a free safety and doesn’t migrate too often into the slot or line up in the box. Still, there’s no denying that he’s one of the premier pass defenders at his position. What’s even crazier is that he’s just about to enter his third season in the NFL.

If Winfield can rack up more picks, he may just vault up Sullivan’s list next year and beyond. But right now Winfield is damn good and Joe is happy as heck to have him.

Even if Winfield never makes it to the Hall of Fame, he had the signature moment in the Super Bowl that ought to help get him in the Ring of Honor someday.

23 Responses to “Antoine Winfield No. 7”

  1. Goatfarmer Says:

    When AW2 was a rookie, he would line up in the box and blitz, get a sack, stuff a run. Due to injury and incompetence last year, Todd needed him to stay back to shore up Todd’s confused DBs.

    I would like to see AW2 used a bit more like he was as a rookie, especially with the additions Licht made in the offseason to the DB stable.

    Now, Todd, please please simplify your coverages so your guys know what they are supposed to do in zone and blitz packages. And for God sakes, cover Cooper Kupp when you face the Rams.

  2. Austin Lewis Says:

    It’s definitely not too earlier for Wirfs bust in canton, 2 sacks in 2 years?? Don’t count when he hurt his ankle in game

  3. Captain Oblivious Says:

    I know it wasn’t his fault but I can’t get over the image of Kupp streaking past AWjr for what turned out to be the game winning reception against the Rams.

  4. Dooley Says:

    One of the smartest football players Jason Licht has drafted in his tenure as Bucs GM. When you think “best case scenario” about how a former NFL pro’s kid would play as a pro himself, Winfield should be one of the first examples you’d think of in my opinion. Also, that catch over Michael Pittman Jr is probably as big a signature moment as paying Tyreek Hill back in SBLV.

  5. August 1976 Buc Says:

    The Rams Game shows he is human, yes he is good, but watching Cooper Kupp run by him and catch the dagger shot to get beat is still fresh in the Mind.
    Yes he is good, but still has a lot of room to grow.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  6. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I can not get over that Cooper Kupp Catch in the Super Bowl either!
    It was hard to believe an all out Blitz was called on that play, when the all out Blitz was not working against Matt Stafford all day.
    Cooper Kupp is one of the best receivers in the NFL, it is hard enough to double cover him.
    To leave him one on one, with the game on the line, was a terrible defensive play call.

  7. Beeej Says:

    Are the dedicated roles of strong safety and free safety gone now? Rarely see the terms mentioned anymore

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Players can’t talk to other teams during the season.
    Why should coaches be able to?
    Interviewing for a job is a huge distraction during a playoff week and takes them away from their preparation.
    It’s a distraction to the team, a disservice to the players and disrespectful to the game and fans.
    Don’t blame Winfield Jr for how the Rams playoff game ended.

  9. August 1976 Buc Says:

    With little time left on the clock, Winfield needs to get up in Kupps face and hold him or knock down at the line of scrimmage. Better to take a penalty then give up a bomb that was a dagger kill shot by Stafford. To say no blame on the player is crazy. It is the coaches and players not just the coaches. Coaches coach and players play, it is both at fault

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  10. mark2001 Says:

    I think any time you go to evaluate a kid who grew up with a Pro bowl caliber daddy in the household like Antoine did, with the father really involved in the kid’s football development, you have to figure they are least a half round to a full round better than the average prognosticator would predict.

  11. BillyBucco Says:

    I think Safety might be the deepest position on the team.
    Even with losing Whitehead.

  12. Duane Says:

    This cat has carried himself like a pro from jump street. I think he has a better season this year because we brought in some veteran players that can hold their own around him. Bowles was likely limited in what he can do with Winfield just as much as he says he was with 45 last season. More defensive stops and turnovers are going to be what we see this season.

  13. SOEbuc Says:


    Definitely. A very good and versatile safety group.

  14. Tony Says:

    I’d still consider another S. Whether it’s in FA or the draft next year. Another CB, DE, DT & maybe another OL wouldn’t hurt either.

  15. BradyBucs Says:

    Safeties really shine when playing with talented corners so they don’t constantly have to struggle to bail out bad coverage.

    Winfield would really excel if we upgraded our terrible trio of Dean/Bunting/Davis.

  16. Darin Says:

    The Chiefs gave him the peace sign too. More teams will follow when he AB’s them as well

  17. Buczilla Says:

    Even though a sports writer loses 99.9% of their credibility with me when they start quoting pff grades as facts, number seven is fair for Winfield. I’d take this Sullivan’s opinion over that numbnut Priscoe’s anytime too.

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Like father like son.

  19. Esteban85 Says:

    Some miserable fans are just never happy. Terrible trio? 2/3 ain’t bad to me

  20. BuucccNASTY Says:

    For all you bashing him for Kupp catch, I get it but you are knocking him for getting beat one on one with the best receiver in the game right now… maybe I’m too high on Kupp, but I always have been since we was drafted and he’s going to be recognized as one of the greatest ever when he’s done (assuming he avoids injuries). So to say AW blew that you just gotta realize this dude was one on one with the best this league has to offer, he shoulda never been one on one…

  21. Wade Landry Says:

    Our corners are above average talent, CD is the most refined,the least athletic.JD the most athletic,the least polished.SMB is athletic traits and smooth but he nuts up to often ,indecisive. ..need to bring HEAT….we will….

  22. Steve Says:

    When it counted alit, in the Rams game he didn’t come through.

  23. jarrett Says:

    Joe — please stop gassing Antoine Winfied Jr.

    This dude got toasted in a feet race with Cooper Kupp and cost us a chance to get to the super bowl. Out of all the good hes done, that play is ingrained in my mind. Dude needs to be called out, I’d be happier when we trade him for a guy like Derwin James honestly, a safety with more size and more range on the field.