Perrion Winfrey Scouting Report: 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Report
Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma Sooners #8
6’ 4” / 292 lbs
40 Time: 5.1 (estimate)
Perrion Winfrey NFL Draft Profile
Winfrey is yet another player that wasn’t a vaunted recruit out of high school. He attended Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois. Perrion Winfrey was ranked a three star recruit and the 128th ranked DT out of high school, but due to rumored academic issues, he attended Iowa Western Community College.
Winfrey would put his nose to the grindstone and apply himself in the classroom and on the football field. In his time at Iowa Western he would play in 18 games, recording 55 tackles, 23 for a loss, and 9.5 sacks. All this would garner him major attention. He was the number one JUCO prospect in the nation according to 247Sports.
Perrion would turn down schools such as Alabama, Penn State, and Texas in choosing to play for the Oklahoma Sooners. Now, as a 2022 NFL Draft prospect, it looks as if he made the correct decision.
Perrion Winfrey would waste no time once on campus in Norman. The communications major has never let academics hinder him again. On the field, he quickly established himself as a starter. In his two seasons playing for the Sooners, he has 16.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in 20 games. He received ALL-Big 12 second team honors both years and has generated a lot of buzz in the scouting community. I personally saw him play a couple games in 2020 and quickly added his name to my list of top players to watch in 2021.
Perrion Winfrey Strengths
Perrion Winfrey is one of the best penetrating defensive tackles I’ve seen in some time. He has an elite first step and can fly by slower interior lineman. More often than not you see him in the backfield making a tackle for loss or blowing up the play.
Given his elite first step for a DT, and his ability to penetrate so quickly, I’m slightly surprised by his low sack numbers. I expect that this will actually improve in the NFL. He will have an opportunity to settle into a more refined position. The fact that he plays all over the line in Norman hasn’t helped him refine his skills as well as one may like.
As I just mentioned, Winfrey has played all along the line for the Sooners. He has played everywhere from the 0-5 technique. I believe he will be at his best as a GAP defender and personally love him in the 3 technique. I see him becoming a dominant pass rusher from the inside, if he is utilized there more.
He is able to hold up and overpower weaker lineman when lined up in the zero. Winfrey is also able to stack lineman and follow the ball carrier to disrupt the play from any of the positions along the line. He may not be the next Michael Pierce as a run stopper, but he won’t be a liability by any means.
Perrion Winfrey is a very smart player. This is evident due to the fact he is trusted with so many different assignments along the line. His ability to not only know what is expected of him, but execute it at a high level from all defensive line positions is second to none. It’s hard for me to believe that such a smart player ever struggled academically. You also see it when he quickly identifies screens. He either grabs the running back before he can get free or gets to the back faster than expected resulting in a loss or short gain at best.
Winfrey is an absolute terror on the field due to his strength, size, flexibility and explosion. He has ideal size and also possesses adequate length. His leg strength allows him to bull rush lineman and push them back regularly. He has elite balance and very rarely will you see him be knocked down by an offensive lineman. All of these tools have him slated as a top interior defender in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Perrion Winfrey Weaknesses
Pass Rush Arsenal
Perrion possesses an adequate swim and rip move, but they could both be refined even more. His bull rush is good enough as well. I would like to see him establish a more consistent push/ pull. He also needs to work with his hand placement consistency and develop counters for those times when his original plan is stymied by a lineman.
He is most successful when aligned in the gap. If he doesn’t work to become more dominant in the areas above, he will struggle to generate a pass rush when lined up head to head.
Not many players can constantly beat a double team, except maybe Aaron Donald. That being said, I still think Winfrey needs to add a little upper body strength. He also needs to work on his technique against double teams. A good double team seems to take him out of the play. If he can develop enough to move the double team to affect the play, or alter the ball carriers running lane, it would elevate him even more.
Perrion Winfrey Draft Stock
Most analysts are currently mocking Perrion Winfrey in the back half of the first round. That is probably an accurate assessment, but I would feel comfortable taking him sooner. I come from the belief that your interior defenders should produce sacks as well. I’m a huge Aaron Donald and Chris Jones fan and grew up rooting for the Bryant Youngs and Warren Sapps. I personally have him as the best interior defensive lineman in the draft.
Final Thoughts on Perrion Winfrey Scouting Report
As I mentioned, I have Perrion Winfrey at the top of my DT rankings for the 2022 NFL Draft. I know players like Jordan Davis are seeing high rankings in scouting circles, but I like my first rounders to be three down players. Depending on my teams needs, I’d feel comfortable pulling the trigger on him earlier than most. He will fit best in a 4-3 defense as a 3 technique. If that’s where he ends up, I see him developing into a player similar to what Fletcher Cox was for the Eagles for some years.
NFL Player Comparison
Fletcher Cox coming out of Mississippi State. They both had similar height, weight and play style. Whether he develops into the player Fletcher became is unknown. However, I believe his ceiling is higher than what Fletcher was able to achieve.
Perrion Winfrey Scouting Report by Ken Noble