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Making The Case: Why the Bears should draft defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
April 6, 2022

The CHGO Sports crew continues “Making the Case” for prospects the Chicago Bears should consider drafting.

The Bears identified Larry Ogunjobi as their ideal 3-tech for their 4-3 defense. Coach Matt Eberflus thought he would be adding a disruptor to the interior of the defensive line. 

Instead, Ryan Poles had to make one of his toughest decisions since becoming the Bears general manager. Telling Ogunjobi that he wouldn’t be joining the organization due to a failed physical. 

Poles quickly adjusted and signed former Chargers defensive lineman Justin Jones. Even though the organization likes Jones’ fit for the team, he was still a Plan B. 

Since the 3-tech is such a vital position for this Bears defense, here is why the team should consider drafting former Oklahoma Sooner defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey. 

Perrion Winfrey’s Strengths

On a rainy day inside Hancock Whitney Stadium for Day 2 of the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala., Winfrey dominated.

In the practice, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive lineman forced a fumble and recovered the ball, registered a quarterback pressure and on the next play made a tackle for loss on the running back. 

He finished a dominant week of practice by being named the Senior Bowl Most Valuable Player. But before Winfrey was making some of the top senior offensive lineman’s lives difficult at the Senior Bowl, he was doing the same in the Big 12 Conference. 

Last season at Oklahoma, Winfrey finished with 23 tackles (11 for loss), 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 11 games. His first step and explosiveness off the line immediately stand out – which helped him get nearly half of his tackles for loss in 2021. 

Winfrey combined his quickness off the line with power, and that is clearly illustrated on this play against Oklahoma State last season. 

On top of being physically gifted, Winfrey is someone who has already embodied that “H.I.T.S” philosophy Eberflus and the rest of this Bears coaching staff are going to implement. 

There are several more examples of Winfrey chasing down ball carriers despite being away from the play – which is exactly what will be asked of every player on this Bears defense. 

Perrion Winfrey’s Weaknesses 

What stands out about Winfrey is his explosive first step; however, it’s also what can get him in trouble at times. Winfrey likes to take chances at timing the snap and there have been several moments where he has been offsides. 

In addition to offsides penalties, Winfrey needs to improve when taking on double teams. Although a 3-tech has to have speed and quickness when going up the field, that player also needs to be able to hold a gap. 

Last season against West Virginia, the Sooners’ defense was facing a second-and-1 from their own 8-yard line. Winfrey is lined up over the center and once the ball is snapped, Winfrey gets combo blocked by the center and guard and ends up five yards back. 

Making The Case

The Bears have plenty of needs on their roster and a lot of them are on offense. So, adding a defensive lineman in the second round most likely wouldn’t sit well with the fanbase. But Poles has shown through free agency that he is willing to be patient and build up his team the right way. 

Defensive coordinator Alan Williams said in his introductory press conference that the 3-tech “is going to be a tremendous part of the success of Chicago Bears football and specifically Chicago Bears defensive football.”

If the Bears coaching staff sees Winfrey as the best player available when they’re on the clock, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the organization drafts him. 

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