Tampa Bay Buccaneers second-round draft pick Antoine Winfield Jr. doesn’t have to go far to get a scouting report on his new teammate, Tom Brady.
Feb 28, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr (DB61) speaks to the media during the 2020 NFL Combine in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sport
He can ask his father, Antoine Winfield, who intercepted a Brady pass 19 years ago.
The Buccaneers selected the younger Winfield, a University of Minnesota safety, on Friday with the 45th overall selection in the draft.
The elder Winfield was a three-time Pro Bowl performer during a 14-year NFL career. He played for the Buffalo Bills (1999-2003) and the Minnesota Vikings (2004-12).
Among his accomplishments was an interception of a young Brady in 2001. The now 42-year-old quarterback signed a free agent deal with Tampa Bay last month, ending a 20-year stay with the New England Patriots that included six Super Bowl championships.
“That’s crazy, but Tom Brady’s the GOAT,” Winfield Jr. said Friday night. “It’s gonna be crazy when I see him in person. He’s one of my favorite players. And it is crazy that my dad played against him. That’s wild for me to think about.”
Winfield Sr. is just six weeks older than Brady.
The younger Winfield said of joining a Tampa Bay roster that includes not only Brady but also former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, “That means everything. I was actually just talking to my dad about that, just talking about the players they had. I’m just ready to be that additional piece to help them win a Super Bowl this year. So I’m just extremely excited.”
That excitement was evident when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called Winfield’s name as the 45th pick. The Winfield family home in The Woodlands, Texas, exploded with joy, with family members and Winfield’s girlfriend jumping around in celebration.
Winfield, 21, was selected a unanimous All-American last season, when he topped the Golden Gophers with seven interceptions and 88 tackles. His interception total tied the school’s modern-era record. Winfield also had three sacks and two forced fumbles.
The 5-foot-9, 203-pound defensive back was chosen the team MVP of a Minnesota squad that went 11-2 and beat Auburn in the Outback Bowl. Winfield also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the third season in a row.
—Field Level Media