1. Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
If the son of the Buckeye legend is available, the Cleveland Browns will have an easy go of things with their second-round pick.
Some mocks have Winfield going as a late first-round pick, however, that projection seems overzealous. While he could fall to the second round, it’s no sure thing he falls to the Browns at No. 41.
Winfield is undersized at 5-foot-9, but he played in a Power-5 conference for a Minnesota team that overachieved a season ago. He was a unanimous All-American selection, while he also earned the nod for the Big Ten’s Defensive Back of the Year.
He flashed great instincts, and despite his smaller frame, displayed an ability to lay some vicious hits on receivers unfortunate enough to cross his path.
Will there be growing pains if Winfield is the pick? Sure, but the Browns secondary is good enough to go through those pains. The team will return Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams at corner, while they signed Kevin Johnson to play the slot. Karl Joseph should be the starter at strong safety, while veteran Andrew Sendejo can bridge the gap until Winfield becomes a full-time player.
Winfield had seven interceptions in his final season with the Golden Gophers, and it’d be intriguing to pair with with new defensive coordinator Joe Woods, who worked wonders with San Francisco’s secondary as the team’s defensive backfield coach.
It seems increasingly unlikely he’ll be available when the Browns pick at No. 41, but he’s the dream pick.