- Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Antoine Winfield is now the third-favorite to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
- Winfield had 11 tackles to spearhead the Buccaneers’ win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 2
- Washington Football Team edge rusher Chase Young remains the heavy DROY favorite
Almost all the talk surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season focuses on Tom Brady. However, rookie free safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is starting to draw attention.
Winfield is now the third-favorite in the NFL DROY odds following a standout performance in Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers. His odds were +3800 entering the game.
2020 NFL DROY Odds
|Chase Young (Washington)||+105|
|Patrick Queen (Ravens)||+600|
|Antoine Winfield Jr. (Buccaneers)||+1200|
|Isaiah Simmons (Cardinals)||+1200|
|CJ Henderson (Jaguars)||+1400|
Odds as of Sept. 21 at FanDuel.
Big Week 2 Performance
Winfield did a little bit everything in the Buccaneers’ 31-17 win over the visiting Panthers.
He had 11 tackles, second on the team, including eight solo stops. Winfield also forced a fumble that came at a key point in the game.
With the Buccaneers leading 7-0 in the first quarter, Winfield hit quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the ball came loose. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul recovered at the Panthers’ 23-yard line.
Tampa's defense has already forced two turnovers in two drives.
This one was all Antoine Winfield Jr.
Watch the rookie safety come screaming off the edge on the blitz, keeps working, punches it out. Lot of praise for Winfield Jr. early on. pic.twitter.com/viCXzbKZwV
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) September 20, 2020
On the next play, Brady threw a touchdown pass to Mike Evans.
That gave the Buccaneers a two-touchdown lead just over 10 minutes into the game. They went onto their first win of the season following a Week 1 loss at the New Orleans Saints in Brady’s much-ballyhooed debut.
Winfield also had a solid NFL debut in that game with six tackles, one pass defensed, and a quarterback hit.
The Buccaneers were expecting the University of Minnesota product to contribute immediately when they drafted him in the second round with the 45th-overall pick.
Tampa Bay’s young secondary struggled last season. With the addition of Winfield, the Buccaneers are 11th in the NFL in pass defense (264.5 yards a game).
Winfield’s play has graded out well in the eyes of analysts. Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the league’s second-best safety through two games, trailing only the Buffalo Bills’ Jordan Poyer.
That is certainly worth celebrating for Winfield’s teammates.
— Antoine Winfield Jr. (@AntoineWJr11) September 20, 2020
Overall, Winfield’s stats through two games include 17 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble
Winfield also comes from good bloodlines.
His father was an NFL cornerback for 13 seasons from 1999-2012 with the Bills and Minnesota Vikings. The senior Winfield was selected to three Pro Bowls and had 27 career interceptions.
Sizing Up the Competition
Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young remains the heavy favorite to win DROY. He has an NFL-leading 2.5 sacks to go with eight tackles – two for loss – and two quarterback hits.
Second-favorite Patrick Queen has fit seamlessly into the Baltimore Ravens’ defense as the middle linebacker. He has 11 solos among his 17 total tackles with one sack, one tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits.
— PQ™️ (@Patrickqueen_) September 21, 2020
Versatile Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons has yet to make an impact, recording just two tackles in four games.
CJ Henderson is proving to be a capable replacement for Jalen Ramsey as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top cornerback. He has an interception and three passes defensed in his nascent career.
Winfield has certainly gotten off to a good start for the Buccaneers. However, voters like stats and Young is likely to pile up the sack numbers while Henderson gets his share of interceptions.
Thus, with his odds at +1200, Winfield does not provide enough value for a wager.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.