Photo of Brian Winters
Grade
71.1 ?
  • 9 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 6'4" Height
  • 32 3/4" Arm Length
  • 320LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/4" Hands

Overview

Winters was an all-state pick in Ohio as a high school senior, and also earned three letters in wrestling. Usually scouts like when offensive linemen have grappling backgrounds, as that sport helps them learn to use their hands to control their opponent. But Winters actually injured his left shoulder during a match his sophomore year, and it became a major problem after popping out of place in the third game of the 2011 season. He played through the pain, however, showing another attribute typically possessed by successful wrestlers -- toughness.



KSU coaches liked what they saw in him as a true freshman, placing him in the starting line-up at right tackle. The rest of the league’s coaches also appreciated his talents early on, voting him third-team all-conference in 2010 as a full-time starter (first eight games at left tackle, last four at right tackle). They pushed him up a notch after his junior year, naming him second-team All-MAC as he again started every game on the blind side. Winters kept that job in 2012 and started all 14 games at left tackle. He finally had something to block for, as Dri Archer broke out as one of the top playmakers in the country. Archer was lighting in a bottle, but Winters set the tone with his thunderous hits.

Analysis

Strengths

Finishing plays is not an issue, steps out to attack his man quickly after the snap, latches on like he’s beginning a wrestling match, and then keeps his legs moving to sustain. Throws smaller ends to the ground if they let up as the whistle blows. Plays with a wide base and the natural flexibility to drop his hips in pass protection, yet has the foot quickness to mirror on the outside and maneuver himself into an inside position while engaged. Fires off the ball in short-yardage situations despite his height, and churns his feet moving to move the pile. Effective combo blocker, as well, as he can seal the tackle and then negate a linebacker using his length and quickness. His frame has the room to grow, and his footwork is strong enough to redirect defenders away from his quarterback or running back if he gets in trouble.

Weaknesses

Occasionally gets pushed off-balance and thrown aside by stronger opponents, and might be susceptible to veterans ripping down because he likes to latch on up top instead of keeping his head up and arms extended. Stops his feet while punching, allowing ends to get the inside lane or turn the corner.

NFL Comparison

Jake Scott

Bottom Line

Winters is a tough finisher at left tackle, garnering plenty of recognition as a long time starter. The former high school wrestler likes to latch on up top, which can cause him leverage problems against better defenders, but he possesses the athleticism to be a late second to early third day pick and a solid NFL starter at guard or tackle in a zone-blocking system.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
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