I did a scouting report on Winovich after his junior year of high school (LINK) and gave him a TTB Rating of 79 (LINK). He ended the cycle as a 4-star, the #24 outside linebacker, and #299 overall. I’ll pat myself on the back for this take from that scouting report:
At his height he should end up around 240-250 lbs. by the time he’s a college upperclassman. Since there’s so much physical development in the works, it’s hard to project what kind of athlete he might be; however, I think he could be a BCS all-conference type of player if he can maintain his athleticism.
And this is just ridiculous(ly coincidental) on my player comparison:
Crable…had good speed and a knack for getting skinny to avoid blockers and shoot gaps.
You might know where I’m going with this. Winovich was picked in the 3rd round, #77 overall, by the Patriots. Crable was picked in the third round…#78 overall…by the Patriots.
Hit the jump for more on Winovich’s career.
Winovich was recruited as a SAM linebacker by then defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, and as expected, he redshirted during his first year – which was Mattison’s last as defensive coordinator and Brady Hoke’s last as head coach. The 2015 season brought Jim Harbaugh…and a switch for Winovich to fullback/tight end. That didn’t seem like a terrible move for Winovich, who was a standout running quarterback in high school, but the move didn’t take. He played some special teams, but that was it. For the 2016 season, he moved back to defense but to weakside defensive end, where he pestered offensive linemen non-stop. Backing up Taco Charlton, he made 35 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks, and a star was born. He became a starter once Charlton moved to the NFL, making 79 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks as a redshirt junior. Returning for a fifth year in 2018, he made 69 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks.
185 tackles, 44.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 1 pass breakup
Third Team AP All-American (2018)
Second Team AFCA All-American (2018)
Blue Collar Award (2017)
First Team All-Big Ten (coaches, 2018; media, 2017-2018)
Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches, 2017)
Bo Schembechler MVP Team Award (2018)
Richard Katcher Award (2018)
Winovich came in as a project that everyone knew would take some time to develop. He was a 4-3 Under outside linebacker to begin his career, but the changing coaching staff – and changing landscape of defense in college football – has largely caused that traditional position to disappear in favor of smaller, quicker players. Instead of being eradicated from the game, Winovich tried offense and eventually transitioned to a weakside end spot, doing similar things to what he would have done as an OLB – just with his hand down instead of in a two-point stance. He ended his career as a fan favorite, #4 all-time at Michigan in tackles for loss, and tied for #5 all-time in sacks.
I WILL REMEMBER HIM FOR…
…playing with reckless abandon. The long hair contributed to this, but there’s just something about the way Winovich plays that makes me like him. As I mentioned above, he’s relentless and a pest. I expected pretty good things from him coming out of high school, but when I saw him at the open spring practice at Ford Field in April of 2016, I knew he was going to break out soon. Even though he had just switched back from offense, he was terrorizing the offensive line.
The NFL Draft already took place, but I expect Winovich to make a nice career for himself as an NFL edge rusher. He fits really well with what the Patriots and Bill Belichick like to do defensively and with the culture there.
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