High School and College Career
Dee Winters, a 3-star Burton High school recruit, joined the Texas Christian University (TCU) football team.
During his freshman year at TCU, Winters played in 8 games, where he spent a total of 291 snaps as a linebacker for the team. In that year, Winters recorded 27 tackles and 8 total pressures, which included 3 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and 2 sacks.
In his sophomore year, Winters played in 10 games and participated in 673 snaps for the Horned Frogs. During this year, Winters recorded 46 tackles and achieved 8 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, 2 sacks, and one pass breakup in coverage.
In his junior year, Winters played in 12 games for 781 snaps. He finished with 65 tackles, 2 pass breakups, and 2 interceptions. As for pass rushing, Winters pulled off 9 total pressures, covering 5 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and one sack.
Winters’ senior year proved to be his best yet, as he logged playing time in 13 games and for a total of 830 snaps for the Horned Frogs. He had 51 tackles, and tallied an impressive 24 total pressures, which included 13 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, and 9 sacks on the season.
Dee Winters Scouting Report Introduction
Dee Winters, a former linebacker for the TCU Horned Frogs, was one of the team’s captains in the year he led them to a national championship appearance. Originally starting his career as a safety, he quickly transitioned to the linebacker position, where his instincts and versatility made him a valuable asset to the team. Winters proved himself to be a productive tackler, leading the team in tackles in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Additionally, his prior experience in the safety position shone through with his three interceptions over the past two years. He finished the 2022 season with an impressive 79 tackles, one fumble recovery, and one interception returned for a touchdown, which highlighted his athletic ability as a versatile second-level defender.
As a run defender, Winters performs best when he is on called run blitzes. He utilizes his speed and quickness to shoot gaps and time his snap right, which enables him to make a play on the ball carrier in the backfield. With his exceptional acceleration and closing speed, Winters can chase down most players and possesses the versatility to either wrap and drag them down or deliver a big hit as needed. This versatility also allows him to be a disruptive defender when attacking the line of scrimmage.
In pass coverage, it is apparent that Winters’ experience as a former defensive back significantly contributes to his skill set. He demonstrates proficiency in both zone and man coverage. In zone coverage, he can flip his hips quickly and get great depth on his zone drops. Winters similarly has a firm grasp on understanding route combinations and can correctly pass off crossing receivers while maintaining discipline in his zone drop. He also shows an ability to plant and drive on the football, effectively disrupting play for a pass breakup or interception.
In man-to-man coverage, Winters’ athleticism allows him to cover a range of offensive players, such as running backs, tight ends, and some slot receivers. He shows great speed while carrying vertically with receivers and making a play on the ball downfield. His short-area quickness enables him to match up with running backs who run option routes to get open underneath.
Winters’ improvements as a defender center around his ability to play the run. He struggles with diagnosing run plays and deconstructing blocks when working downhill. In these situations, Winters appears hesitant and needs more practice making quick decisions in the box, pulling his trigger and attacking downhill, resulting in a closer play to the line of scrimmage. His hesitation permits offensive linemen to work to him, making it difficult to shed them smoothly. An effectively quick decision-making process while attacking the line would provide him with the opportunity to use his speed and attain a proper tackle.
In sum, Dee Winters’ athleticism and versatility make him a valuable player. He has shown exceptional skill in both the run and pass game as a defender, due to his ability to excel in various coverage schemes, and his agility to shoot gaps and time snaps right. His experience as a former safety and linebacker undoubtedly contributed to his success on the field. However, he could see significant improvement when playing the run by improving his decision-making process and hesitancy in attacking the line of scrimmage.
One of the key strengths that Winters brings to the game is his lateral movement and ability to chase down opponents. He is a relentless tackler who doesn’t give up easily, and he has a non-stop motor that allows him to keep going even when the going gets tough. This, combined with his violent tackling style, makes him a formidable opponent for anyone who comes up against him.
In addition to his tackling prowess, Winters also has good awareness when it comes to dropping into coverage. He knows how to read the offense and anticipate their moves, which allows him to make plays and help his team on defense. As a zone defender, he is especially rangy and instinctive, able to cover a lot of ground and make an impact in a variety of different situations.
One of Winters’ most impressive skills is his explosiveness. He is able to move quickly and make sudden, powerful movements that can disrupt plays in the backfield. When he reads a play, he reacts quickly and decisively, making him a valuable asset to any team that he plays for.
Despite his listed size, Winters plays much bigger than he appears. He has functional strength and a strong motor that allow him to take on and hold ground against much larger blockers. He may be a bit stiff, but he is still able to make clean open-field tackles and shows good effort in pursuit.
Winters relies heavily on the scheme of his team to create opportunities. He doesn’t do as well in one-on-one matchups and other situations where he needs to create his own opportunities.
Another challenge for Winters is his size, whch may factor into his depenence on teammates to help create favorable conditions for him. Winters needs to be covered up in order to make plays; without support from his teammates, he risks being neutralized by his opponents. This reliance on coverage further emphasizes how important it is for Winters to have a strong defensive line that can help him move against the run, as otherwise he is easily stopped by opposing blockers.
Furthermore, evaluations indicate that Winters is a “grab-and-drag” tackler, which suggests that he struggles with the physical demands of tackling. While he may be able to use his speed and quickness to make initial contact with the ball carrier, he likely needs help from his teammates in order to complete a tackle. Additionally,
Dee Winters is the 182nd prospect on our draft big board.