When it comes to safeties, the Dallas Cowboys, and the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, there are really only two names that analysts have been concentrating on.
Many a draft expert has sent Alabama’s Xavier McKinney or LSU’s Grant Delpit to the Cowboys when filling out their first-round mocks. That’s logical in many ways. Those are two very talented prospects, players hailing from big-time programs, and the Cowboys are in sore need of help at the safety position. It makes sense.
There is another name that makes sense though, a name that didn’t necessarily dominate the SEC. Odds are you know who we are talking about and are actually even rooting for him to be the safety that Dallas drafts.
PFF’s analytics-based mock has the Cowboys taking Antoine Winfield Jr.
Last week, NFL Media’s foremost expert on analytics Cynthia Frelund dropped a mock draft that was primarily based on analytics. That’s an interesting way at looking at this process.
Frelund had the Cowboys drafting Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault. There is definitely one school of thought that has the Cowboys taking a wideout, but Shenault isn’t exactly a name that people would expect to going in the top 17 picks.
PFF released an analytics-based mock this week and theirs has the Cowboys taking the name we danced around up top. They have Dallas drafting Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr..
17. DALLAS COWBOYS — S ANTOINE WINFIELD JR., MINNESOTA
EE: The Cowboys get a good one here in the son of former Vikings and Bills do-everything cornerback and nickel defender. Winfield had a great Combine and has one of the highest projected playmaker rates (pass breakups plus interceptions) among safeties in this class.
Winfield is the son of Antoine Winfield, but he is making a name for himself as the 2020 NFL Draft approaches. As noted, there are many Cowboys fans that would love to see him with a star on his helmet.
A year ago the Cowboys passed on safeties Juan Thornhill and Taylor Rapp. Winfield is a phenomenal athlete with great instincts. That’s the type of thing you want trying to force turnovers, is it not?
4️⃣.4️⃣6️⃣— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 1, 2020
Antoine Winfield Jr. was MOVING!
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Antoine Winfield Jr.— Scout Kelley (@ScoutKelley) March 1, 2020
(Who just ran a 4.46) pic.twitter.com/qdHoNzoool
It seems like it's always the little dudes who bring the most boom. This would probably get him thrown in the county jail in the NFL, though. (Antoine Winfield Jr., for those who don't know). pic.twitter.com/IPJEhPfbyj— Jake Arthur (@JakeArthurNFL) March 5, 2020
It is no secret that the Cowboys are in need of a dynamic playmaker at safety. While it is certainly possible that either Xavier McKinney or Grant Delpit can be that for them, there is an awful lot to like about Antoine Winfield Jr.