2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Perrion Winfreyby Charlie Parent March 24, 2022 6 comments
Hype in the NFL draft comes and goes. Almost nobody would know this better than Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey. Before this season, the former four-star recruit was regarded as a late day three prospect. After the Senior Bowl, though, people believe he could go in the first round. However, big combine performances from other defensive tackles have left Winfrey’s stock at a crossroads. With no idea where Winfrey may be picked in April, it’s time to get into his film to make our own decision.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.
Name: Perrion Winfrey
Jersey: No. 8
Position: Defensive Tackle
Weight: 290 lbs
Games Watched: Nebraska (2021), Texas (2021), Iowa State (2020)
Major Injury History: None
Block Shedding (12.75/15)
The biggest and first thing we must state about Winfrey is size. Coming in at 290 pounds, Winfrey is small for an NFL defensive tackle and looks slender on the tape. Now, that does not stop him from being very good at shedding blocks. Winfrey uses an explosive step into the opposite linemen and often is able to rip away easily. The negatives are that you’d like Winfrey to make more of an impact because of this ability, though he has still done a nice job up to this point.
Strength at LOS (12.25/15)
Again, the slender frame is there, but Winfrey is able to make it work for the most part. Against Nebraska, Winfrey was never actively pushed backward by a lineman. In fact, across the three games watched, Winfrey was able to develop such an anchor that he only got pushed back on one rep, which game against Texas. This makes Winfrey an excellent space heater for a guy his size.
On the other hand, Winfrey doesn’t make a huge impact with this strength. Yes, it’s huge in the way he sheds blocks, though we need more. Instead of just being a space-eater, the next step here for Winfrey is to create space. He must move guys around more to create holes for those linebackers to shoot into. He has room to grow in this area.
Pass Rush Ability(12.75/15)
With 5.5 sacks last year, Winfrey is one of this class’s better pass-rushing defensive tackles. While this isn’t the biggest production out there, Winfrey has tools all over the place. Explosiveness is the key one here. There are times when Winfrey seems to have springboard explosiveness and right into his pass-rushing moves. Winfrey really likes the swim move, and it is probably his best true pass-rush move. When you combine the athleticism with the technique that Winfrey has already demonstrated, we are looking at a potential 6-9 sack per year defensive tackle which is valuable in today’s league.
Winfrey is a very consistent player but teeters into the zone of just “good” and not “elite.” We’ve hinted at this notion already, but you just need a bit more from Winfrey. He’s not a game-wrecker by any means. Defensive coordinators don’t scheme around him as they do for George Karlaftis, Jordan Davis, and others in this class. Winfrey does a nice job at making a constant impact on each play, but nothing to absolutely show out.
His explosiveness is there, though that’s only half of what goes into a push dynamic. Sure, Winfrey has gotten into the pads well and driven lineman back for the most part. But Winfrey is slow to react off the line. This is one of the biggest criticism surrounding Winfrey. There are times when he’s jumped the snap well, but the rumors are true: Winfrey struggles to react to the snap. This leads to a worse push and an overall lower impact on each play. What Winfrey could do is take some chances. Obviously, he knows that reaction is a weakness; thus, why not try to jump the snap more often? Winfrey was never called for an offside, and the only way he can learn this is through game-time reps.
Length Usage (8.75/10)
When we look at length usage, we are trying to determine whether or not the player can use their frame to their advantage. Winfrey can and will. He’s a lanky player, mostly because of the weight, that can still bend well when coming around on stunts. Winfrey will use his size to almost “slip” through the gaps between two interior linemen. Winfrey’s size also helps when sticking arms up to bat away the ball or just disrupting passing lanes. He’s also been able to play bigger, as we’ve said, by clogging up that space through his nice anchor.
Like that reaction off the line, side-to-side movement is a common criticism towards Winfrey’s game. This one is not warranted, however. Winfrey is a very fluid mover. He showed pure athleticism with a 4.89 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. While a 40-time doesn’t necessarily help a defensive tackle, it proves he’s an athletic player. Moving side-to-side, Winfrey has been able to be quick on his feet, while that reaction may still hold him back. Finally, we have explosiveness, which you should all know by now, is incredibly impressive.
Football IQ (7.5/10)
Movement makes Winfrey versatile and great for stunts, though there are other factors to football IQ. Winfrey knows which gaps to shoot and blockers to occupy. At the same time, he’s struggled to be patient after winning the rep. Winfrey may overshoot the hole in front of him, allowing a ball carrier to make a cut and get by. We need more patience from Winfrey in ciphering out the run while keeping the reaction time to the snap at its best.
There are lots of holes in Winfrey’s game, buttons to love. The first thing Winfrey must do when he gets into an NFL facility is head straight to the weight room, then the nutritionist. Winfrey needs to add at least 15-20 pounds, without losing explosiveness, before seeing any valuable NFL reps. Once he does this, we are looking at a defensive tackle with real potential. Winfrey can turn into a great pass-rush threat and chip in with tremendous run-stuff value. The versatility and potential Winfrey has is what makes him such an intriguing selection for a player that was underused in college. If Winfrey is still on the board at the end of day one, he must be one of the first guys chosen in the second round.
Rookie Projection: Rotational Defensive Tackle
Third-Year Projection: Starting Defensive Tackle
Player Grade: (83.5/100): Mid-Second Round
Player Comparison: Fletcher Cox
Follow Charlie Parent on Twitter @Charlie_Parent
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images