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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Dee Winters (LB – TCU)

by Matthew Jones
Jan 29, 2023
Dee Winters

As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Dee Winters.

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2023 NFL Draft Guide: Prospect Rankings & Player Profiles

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Dee Winters (LB – TCU)

Dee Winters (LB – TCU)

6’1” – 230 lbs.

Played mostly receiver in high school. Started two of eleven games played as a freshman (291 snaps) and went 28-4.5-2.0, then took over a starting role and posted lines of 65-9.5-2.0 in 2020, 74-5.0-1.0 in 2021 (two interceptions), and 79-14.5-7.5 in 2022, playing both the middle and weakside linebacker positions.

Productive three-year starter and four-year contributor. Has what look like long limbs and good musculature. Explosive, rangy athlete with the speed to play sideline to sideline. Generally plays with a patient approach but can be decisive. Good suddenness to knife through congestion and into the backfield. Gets good extension to play off of blocks. Able to chase down runners in backside pursuit. Impressive athleticism gives him considerable potential as a coverage linebacker; typically shades over in zone and closes fast when delivering a hit on an underneath throw. Gets out to the boundary quickly to defend the screen game. Can also spy the quarterback, showing his burst downhill when opposing passers flee the pocket. Took more snaps as a pass-rusher (typically off the edge) this
past year than he did in the rest of his career combined, with 7.5 sacks on just 107 such snaps.

Stats are more impressive than his metrics. Can be undisciplined in run fits, with a tendency to overpursue. Doesn’t always maintain outside positioning in the run game to funnel ballcarriers back to help. Doesn’t always keep his shoulders square when playing between the tackles. Sometimes lines up on the edge but doesn’t have the lower-body strength to hold the point of attack, with below-average functional strength. Intensity can wane when he’s away from the play direction. Was a little bit better as a tackler this past year but still misses about a fifth of his attempts (19.3%); comes in too fast at times and struggles to break down in the open. Would like to see a more consistent level of physicality. Coverage metrics have dropped off the past two seasons, and responsibilities there are limited.

A three-year starter and excellent athlete with the speed, quickness, and range teams look for in a modern weakside linebacker, and who showed this past season that he’s also capable of finding paths to the passer when given the chance to rush. Could eventually develop into a viable coverage linebacker in sub packages, but early route onto the field will probably be as a special-teams contributor while he improves his functional strength and cleans up his discipline in the run game and as a tackler.

Projection: Round 4-5

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