Even though Winn’s University of Detroit Jesuit High School team went winless in Winn’s senior year, his eight yard-per-carry average and 3,000 career rushing yards caught the eye of then-Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly. Kelly left for Notre Dame in 2010, and then Winn had to wait his turn behind St. Louis Rams 2012 second-round pick Isaiah Pead for most of his career. But a strong finish to his 2011 season and the departure of Pead opened a door for Winn in his senior year.
The cousin of former NFL wide receiver Derrick Mason redshirted the 2008 season. He saw action in just one game the following year (5-12 rush, 1-19 receiving against Southeast Missouri State) and then got carries in just three games (33-145) in 2010. Used in every game as Pead’s back-up in 2011, his 40 carries went for 219 yards and two touchdowns –- and he also had eight tackles on special teams. As the starter in 2012, in 13 games, Winn carried the football 243 times for 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Compact back with good upper body and leg strength. Has a bit of a burst once finding the open field, has enough speed to turn the corner and force safeties to take deep angles downfield. Shows patience for a hole to open up on zone plays, can also read a lead blocker effectively to find space. Uses lowered pads, thick legs, and good balance to churn through linebacker tackles in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Not afraid of contact in pass protection, will cut down a blitzer, lower a shoulder on a chip, or stand his ground to use his strength when one-on-one. Also gives great effort to move inside with twisting blitzers and recover after a cut block to get a second hit on a blitzer when possible. Physical play continues on special teams coverage units, as runs through blocks and brings down returners with attitude.
One-year starter. Not elite in his size, power or speed. Vision in traffic is inconsistent, will duck his head when opportunities to cut are available. Lacks much wiggle to his game. Does not have much experience as a receiver, will need to prove he can do more than catch screen passes in order to bring in awkward passes and make defenders miss in the flat. Overextends and whiffs on his punch in pass protection at times.
Winn patiently waited for 2012 second-round pick Isaiah Pead to move on before being elevated into a starting position. He had just 78 carries for 376 yards and two touchdowns in his first three years on the field, while also becoming a special teams ace. But he finally stepped into the starting lineup for 2012 and did well with his opportunity. Winn's a hard nosed runner who works well in between the tackles, and does well behind zone blocking and in short yardage situations. He should be selected in the middle rounds, and contribute on special teams right away.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.