Today we’re taking a deep dive into an NFL Draft prospect whose stock has fluctuated significantly – Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey
Perrion Winfrey – 6’ 4”, 290 – Oklahoma, IDL, Senior
Perrion Winfrey entered the 2021 season as a highly regarded IDL prospect, potentially the #1 IDL prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft class. He came on as the 2020 season progressed but was unable to get to the quarterback much until last season.
More exposure unearthed some serious question marks about Winfrey’s abilities against the run but he has a unique set of tools that could be extremely valuable at the next level.
What I Like
+ Linear Speed
+ Penetration on Run Downs
+ Early Wins
+ Pursuit Ability
Nobody was surprised when Winfrey recorded a 4.89 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, however, it was a huge bummer that he pulled a hammy and was unable to perform in the remaining drills. We expected elite jumping numbers from Winfrey based on his tape.
If he’s able to time the snap well, Winfrey shows an explosive first step and gets upfield in a hurry. He’s able to win early in the rep. When he’s playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage – which is often – Winfrey shows an ability to gear up in a hurry making him a dangerous playmaker.
Ed Ingram lost a rep this week in practice. He lost to Perrion Winfrey. That’s 2 sacks for Winfrey today and just a hell of a week for him at the Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/JYEvQ6RqaT
— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) February 5, 2022
He uses his elite linear speed well and can make plays from the backside or stretch plays out past the perimeter. Winfrey was only able to get home for ½ sacks in 2020 but that number jumped up to 5.5 last season. He also added 11 TFLs.
He’ll be expected to live in the backfield at the next level, which is something he is absolutely capable of. He can get there on passing downs as well.
Winfrey’s arms are the third-longest of any defensive lineman in the 2022 NFL Draft. While he doesn’t consistently use that length to his full advantage, we’ve seen what it looks like when he does.
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 18, 2022
He typically initiates contact and can match upper-body power with a good amount of interior blockers. He uses his hands well to keep his chest plate clean.
A big reason for Winfrey’s success is his motor. He will fight relentlessly to defeat blocks and will finish most plays in-frame. NFL DCs will surely appreciate his drive, though I’m sure they’ve been able to identify aspects of Winfrey’s game that can use some polish.
What I Haven’t Seen Yet
– Wins Vs Tackles
– Pass Rush Nuance
– Lateral Agility
– Anchor from Interior/Weight
– Maturity Against the Run
While Winfrey had some success as a pass rusher, it was mostly against interior blockers, where his length made him a consistent mismatch. That will be less of a silver bullet vs NFL OTs. Winfrey doesn’t display the flexibility or counter-ability to win beyond his length and raw explosion.
He makes solid contact but he does not roll his hips through. That makes his bull rush less impactful than it otherwise could be. He’s not the type to consistently “put guys on skates” and can struggle to finish plays.
Winfrey’s tight hips lessen his ability to move laterally. He’s not a liability in space but Winfrey doesn’t thrive when he has to change angles. That hip tightness hinders his gap maintenance as well. Winfrey is entirely reliant on linear movements to get to his spot and he’s slow when asked to stunt.
He was feast or famine against pulls and traps. If Winfrey doesn’t get underneath lateral blockers, he’s going for a ride. His inability to dissect blocking schemes hurts him further. Winfrey hasn’t learned how to identify whether or not he’ll be doubled from presnap and he’s slow to adjust. It’s fair to question if Winfrey is putting enough time into his film study.
His inability to protect his edges is troubling when projecting him to anything other than a 3-tech. Why the Sooner coaching staff was so determined to use a 290-pounder at the nose is beyond me. Still, Winfrey projects to a clear role at the next level.
You can plug Winfrey in today to the 3-tech/4i on passing downs. Let him thrive in a new yet more comfortable role while he continues to develop as a run defender. Much like Malik Jackson, Winfrey has the length and frame to suggest that he can operate out of the 5-tech but he will be better suited to the 3-tech on run downs.
Winfrey’s ability to impact the passing game from day one may have him selected earlier in the NFL Draft than some are expecting. I have a fringe day two grade on Winfrey but he could go as early as the second round to the right team.
|6′ 4″||290||35 1/4||10 1/4||4.89||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
NFL Comp: Malik Jackson
Role: Immediate PRS 3-Tech
Grade: Fringe Day-Two