The Denver Broncos’ best draft in recent memory now includes a moment of bliss for Colorado Buffaloes fans. Senior wide receiver Juwann Winfree was drafted by the Broncos with their 6th round pick (187th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Winfree transferred (via Coffeyville) to Colorado as a former blue chip recruit who originally committed to Maryland. He was a potential breakout player heading into 2016, but he tore his ACL just weeks before the season began. That kept him out of action until mid-way through the 2017 season, but the coaching staff favored the group of seniors over Winfree (and Laviska Shenault, Jr.). In his final season at Colorado, Winfree had the chance to finally break out, but the coaching staff inexplicably neglected him in the gameplan. Wen they did give him looks, he was limited as he fought through injuries stemming from a late hit out of bounds against Nebraska.
Injuries and coaching decisions made it so Winfree has little in terms of game tape and counting stats. However, Winfree flashed NFL potential in the few opportunities he had. Against USC in 2017, he scored on 57- and 75-yard touchdowns, the former of which was on a filthy route that highlighted his ability to create space without breakaway speed. And though he only had 28 catches in 2018, many of those were plays in traffic where he had to bend for the ball and come down with extraordinarily difficult catches. He’s also demonstrated time and time again his work ethic, a great attitude, and the selflessness to make plays that help his teammates but don’t show up in the box score. He’s a lovely person, too.
It’s great whenever someone from CU is drafted by the Broncos, especially when it’s a high-character player who is waiting to make the most of whatever chance he’s given. The Broncos have a young receiving corps and he could carve out a role. Winfree profiles as a large slot receiver whose contested catch ability, route running and run blocking are maximized.