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NFL Draft Profile: Buffaloes WR Juwann Winfree

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Winfree is likely to be undrafted, but he could potentially hear his name in the late rounds.

Oregon State v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The NFL Draft begins Thursday the 25th and runs through Saturday the 27th. There are five Colorado Buffaloes who may be drafted — Evan Worthington, Drew Lewis, Juwann Winfree, Javier Edwards and Travon McMillian — although they are likely late-round selections or will be undrafted.

Strengths

Juwann Winfree didn’t get to demonstrate his ability much at Colorado — he only had 49 catches, 649 yards and 4 TDs in his two seasons here — but he flashed NFL potential when he saw the field. He’s a solid route runner who can get contested catches, and he’s a terrific blocker for a receiver. He’s 6’3, 210-lbs. and he uses all of that size to make plays in tight spaces. He’s also a selfless player who benefits the offense in ways that don’t show up in the box score, such as taking attention away from other receivers and being a difference maker in the run game. His route running can make for big plays — including this ridiculous 57-yard touchdown against USC in 2017 — but he’s more likely to make a difference as a sure target for medium yardage, possibly as a large slot receiver whose run blocking is maximized.

Weaknesses

Winfree wasn’t very productive in his college career, but part of that is how the coaching staff used him, and part is that he missed significant times with injuries. In 2017, the coaching staff preferred to play their three senior receivers despite them looking worse than the three beneath them on the depth chart — Winfree, Laviska Shenault, Jr., and K.D. Nixon. Winfree was also recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in August 2016. Then in 2018, Winfree was a breakout candidate, but the coaching staff seldom targeted him, then he got injured against Nebraska on a late hit and was never really the same. Besides his health — which is admittedly a significant red flag — Winfree is a solid athlete, but he lacks the burst to get the separation you hope for someone with his size and route running ability. I also have no idea why he wasn’t used more as a receiver when healthy, but maybe the coaching staff didn’t trust him to consistently make the catch. (It’s also tough competing with Viska for targets.)

Draft Range

7th round to undrafted, but he’s one of those players who could be a steal in the right situation.

NFL Comparison

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