As we get into the middle rounds of the Jets draft selections, it will become increasingly difficult to find the information on the prospects. So I apologise if they now become a little shorter, it’s not being lazy it’s just that with lower ‘valued’ prospects, the information available is not quite as extensive. However saying that, we’ll still do our best to bring you all the key information. So here is our take on Brian Winters, our third round pick from Kent State.
During high school it wasn’t just about football for Brian, as well as lettering in football twice, he also lettered in wrestling three times. In fact he was named all-NOC in wrestling in his freshman and Sophomore years. While attending Hudson High School in Ohio he was named to the All-Ohio and all-Northeast Ohio conference team his senior season. As well as being named to the All-Conference team his Sophomore and Junior seasons. Naturally a big man, Brian didn’t quite get the recognition coming out of high school that many thought he deserved.
Winters was rated as just a two star recruit by both rivals.com and scout.com, but we have to remember that Eric Fisher the number one overall selection in the 2013 NFL draft, was also rated as just a two star prospect coming out of high school. Brian received three offers, he decided to attend Kent State university over offers from Akron and Syracuse.
One of Brian Winters best attributes is his durability. From the moment he started the first game his freshman year to the moment he ended his last game his senior year, he never missed a start, not once. That is 50 straight games played without any injuries preventing him for taking the football field.
Now it is hard to measure a offensive guards performance, because there are just not enough statistics used, so unless you watch the games it’s very difficult to grasp just how good a player he is. So let’s just quickly go over some of his achievements over the course of his college career.
In 2009, he started all 12 contests at RT. In 2010 he started the first 8 contests at left tackle and then shifted back over to RT for the final 4. Then in 2011 and 2012 he started every single game at left tackle. In 2010 he earned All-MAC third team honors and in 2011 he was named to the following teams: All Mid-American Conference second team, Phil Steele’s All-MAC third team and the All-Ohio Second team. In 2012 Winters really started to flourish blocking for Dri Archer. He was named to the All-MAC First team as well as being voted team captain by teammates and coaches. He was just the third player in program history to be invited to the NFL combine and was named to the Rotary Lombardi award watch list.
It was his ferocious play in 2012 that earned Brian Winters an invitation to the senior bowl, no doubt this is where he first caught the real attention of Rex Ryan. While in Mobile, Alabama he was moved from tackle to guard, and in a week of practise and the game itself, he dominated opponents with his power inside and this is when everyone realised that his future was going to be inside rather than outside. He went to the combine with a lot of confidence and performed well cementing his position as a likely third round pick.
As we did with Milliner/Geno and Richardson, we’ll do a quick mini scouting profile just to go over his game:
+ Plays with a wide base and natural flexibility in the hips.
+ Extremely durable, played in 50 straight games in college.
+ Finishes every single play, keeps legs churning
+ Has good foot quickness, needed to start at left tackle.
+ Possesses length and quickness, often gets to the second level
~ Can sometimes lose his balance when up against strong opponents
~ Needs to keep his head up
~Sometimes can be over-aggressive after the whistle
~Sometimes can play a little high with his pad level
~Has no experience playing guard
Now apart from his left shoulder popping out and him just popping it back in and continuing to play, Winters doesn’t have any injury or character concerns. So I thought I would highlight another area that stood out when I was researching him. This guy knows how to work for what he wants. Ever since he was a kid his parents have made him earn everything he gets, at age 8 he started mowing lawns and doing extra little jobs to earn pocket money. In the Winter he threw a plow onto the front of his truck and cleared roads and driveways earning up to $2,000 a year. It wasn’t uncommon for him to be up all night plowing driveways then at the facility for 6:00am workouts and then a full day of classes. Put simple, Brian Winters is a grinder and that’s why he won’t allow himself to fail.
I really like Brian Winters as a prospect, when I look at offensive lineman I want durability, toughness and strength, and he does have all of those things. As he hasn’t played at guard yet, I think there will be some growing pains, but he has all the attributes to pick it up quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins the RG battle in camp (not exactly the toughest competition) and he gradually gets better as the season goes on. Brian is a blue-chip kind of guy who has always had to work for everything in his life and he’ll have to do the same here. If you want to know a few interesting things about Bryan, he drives an old 1999 ford pick-up truck and he listens to country music. Don’t you all feel a little better knowing that.