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Dee Winters
NFL Draft

Dee Winters NFL Draft 2023 Prospect Interview

  • Justin Melo
  • February 21, 2023
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TCU linebacker Dee Winters enjoyed an extremely fruitful campaign in 2022. Winters announced himself to the nation with a standout performance in TCU’s College Football Playoff Fiesta Bowl victory over Michigan. Winters recorded seven total tackles and a pick-six interception against the Wolverines. Winters then went to the Senior Bowl and was named the American team’s linebacker practice player of the week.

Winters’ pre-draft stock is experiencing a meteoric rise. Winters recently spoke exclusively with Draft Network to discuss his experience at the Senior Bowl. Winters also discussed his performance against Michigan, his favorite aspects of playing the linebacker position, and more.

JM: What was your experience at the Senior Bowl like?

Dee Winters: I had a great experience. I managed to compete alongside some of the best of the best college football has to offer. I think I made a great impression on the coaches in attendance. I’m excited to see what the future holds for me.

JM: You were voted the American team’s linebacker of the week. I want to build on that. What sort of specific impression do you think you left on the general managers and scouts in attendance?

Dee Winters: Winning that award definitely meant a lot to me. I cherish that honor and I appreciate everybody that voted for me. Most importantly, my goal was to prove that it doesn’t matter who you line up in front of me. I’m capable of competing against anybody. That’s exactly what I did in Mobile.

JM: You sure did. You met with all 32 teams at the Senior Bowl. Did any of those meetings stick out in particular?

Dee Winters: I met with all 32 teams as you said. After those first few meetings, you start shaking off those nerves and focus on making a good impression. The first few meetings I had with the Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, and Houston Texans went well. Those were some teams that showed a lot of interest in me. 

JM: We love that. You were electric in TCU’s historic victory over Michigan, which helped the Horned Frogs advance to the National Championship game. What was it like being in the zone during that game?

Dee Winters: That was an amazing experience. I’ve had a few weeks to recover and reflect on that performance. I dedicated myself to that performance. We spent a ton of time in the film room. I was able to make a couple of big plays as you said. We came out victorious. We’ll never forget it.

JM: What a historic season it was for yourself and TCU. What’s your favorite aspect of playing the linebacker position?

Dee Winters: I love being physical. I think every linebacker would answer this question the same way. We play this position because we love the physicality that comes with it. I love making plays in the backfield. I have a lot of fun with my teammates out there.

JM: You made a successful transition from wide receiver to linebacker. We saw some of that receiver background pop up on occasion. You’ve made a ton of plays on the ball. How do you think your background as a pass-catcher has helped make you a more instinctive linebacker?

Dee Winters: I made that successful transition from receiver to linebacker. It helps me recognize route combinations and certain concepts. I can diagnose certain plays that I might anticipate are coming. It’s definitely made me a more instinctual defender.

JM: You’ve also played the nickel. You’re a three-down linebacker but I’m curious, do you prefer defending the run or playing against the pass?

Dee Winters: I think I can pretty much do it all. I feel like I can cover and play in the passing game. I can also line up in the box and set the edge in the run game. I really don’t have a preference. I feel like I can do it all.

JM: The NFL Scouting Combine is fast approaching. What are some of your goals as you continue preparing to compete in Indianapolis?

Dee Winters: I’m just trying to execute all of the drills to my highest potential. I know what my capabilities are. I just have to go out there and showcase my natural abilities. I’m going to impress the coaches while doing what I can. I’m going to let God handle the rest.

JM: What’s an area of improvement you identified as you continue working toward becoming a more complete player?

Dee Winters: I’m always working to get off blocks a little bit quicker. I know people see me as an undersized linebacker. I think I can split those blocks a little bit better. I don’t have to necessarily take them on every single time. I’m always perfecting my techniques that can avoid some of those situations. It’s all about making plays at the end of the day.

JM: I’ve appreciated your time today. In closing, what is Dee Winters looking to prove to NFL teams throughout the pre-draft process?

Dee Winters: It goes back to what I said about the Senior Bowl. No matter who you place in front of me, I’m always ready to compete. I’m going to put my best foot forward throughout this process.

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Justin Melo