NAME: Andrew Wingard
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 28
RECRUITMENT RATING: 2-star
WT: 209 lbs
PROS: Excellent downhill safety who excels playing in the box. Best plays come as from 8 yards behind the line of scrimmage, keying quickly on backfield action, and closing quickly into gaps before blockers arrive. Disrupts many running schemes with knack for getting involved early and creating contact at or behind the line of scrimmage. Has good five-yard burst to get underneath blocks and take advantage of limited space. Downhill mentality also appears when taking on blockers — has surprisingly great contact balance to stay upright after bouncing off blocks and get involved in tackle. Downhill mentality, burst, and utilization of space also show up as a pursuit player, though ability to cover longer distances is a weakness.
Disciplined zone defender who does well to recognize play action and remain at an advantageous leverage — doesn’t get beaten by misdirection. Generally reads his keys very soundly and with good understanding. Will beat teammates to their landmark because he’s so quick to diagnose. Has a large tackle radius with long arms and good grip strength to ride ball carriers down.
CONS: A poor athlete that may not meet NFL benchmarks. Labors sincerely when changing direction and cannot be trusted to get and stay connected in man coverage. Struggles mightily to come to balance when closing for tackles; is easily shaken in space. Does not drop hips or appropriately target when coming in to tackle — many tackles are just latches and drag-downs. Flexibility in hips may prove a big issue.
Does not recruit his hands to shake blocks when closing down against the run. Again, is oddly successful bouncing off of blocks while maintaining feet, but better hand usage would help him fit better against the run and give up less space. Disciplined style of play, especially in zone coverage, will make him a bit late to overlap or attack shallow routes — not a playmaker. Has little experience in deep zones but seems uncomfortable; athletic profile does not translate well to deep zone responsibilities.
– Benjamin Solak