Revamping the secondary became the Cincinnati Bengals’ primary objective this past month in free agency. With Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Vonn Bell all reportedly agreeing to terms with the team, the Bengals’ defense will feature three new starters on the back end. And if the NFL Draft falls a certain way, more depth could be added as well.
The Bengals held a pre-draft meeting via FaceTime with former Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr., per Justin Melo of The Draft Wire.
The bloodlines here are not hard to figure out. Winfield is the son of three-time Pro Bowl cornerback and Akron, Ohio native Antoine Winfield. In his four years at Minnesota, Winfield Jr. only played two full seasons as he dealt with hamstring and foot injuries in his sophomore and junior seasons. Fortunately, he stayed healthy for his fourth and final year last season when he recorded 58 solo tackles and seven interceptions.
Junior’s nose for the football is just as much a strength of his as it was for Senior. He showed the athleticism carried over as well at the NFL Scouting Combine where he ran a 4.45 40-yard dash and showcased a 36” vertical and a 124” broad jump at 5’9” and 203 pounds.
Winfield is classified as a safety, but played all over the Gophers’ secondary. That versatility in addition to his instincts is why every team, including the Bengals, should be interested in Winfield early in the draft.