First round Draft Prospects: Mitch Winters

Mitchell Winters
Defensive Tackle
6,5" 300 Pounds
Miami (Ohio)
Ranked 128/222 DT

Mitchell is a 3 year starter at Miami and will come in the draft at 23 years old. This is exactly the kind of player Jim likes to draft solid College playing experience but still quite young coming in to the league. This is a player who could end up getting picked in the top 3 with a good e-camp and some of the top five ranked getting NFL contracts.

That’s not really surprising, given that Winters is the only Canadian on Miami University’s roster. It also means his upside is tremendous. “I was coming in pretty much as a blank canvas, and I think that’s what the coaches liked,? Winters said. “They thought, ‘Here’s a kid we can mold. We can just plug him into our system, show him some different techniques, and he’ll go from there.’ ? He is a speed-and-size guy on the RedHawks’ defensive line, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound tackle that grew up playing hockey in Mississauga, Ontario, a large suburb of Toronto. Winters played in seven games as a Miami freshman last fall, totaling three tackles. Now he’s ready to take off. “People should definitely expect an explosive defensive player flying to the ball every play in the upcoming season,? Winters said. “Pretty simple. A tough Miami man looking to make plays.? He played linebacker in high school, but was recruited to Oxford as a defensive end. Winters enrolled at Miami in January, 2012, worked hard in the weight room and moved to tackle during last year’s spring ball. This spring, Winters and Austin Brown are currently the No. 1 tackles. “Last year was a great experience, a baptism by fire,? Winters said. “I really got a good taste of American Division I football, and I think that’s really what helped me prepare for this spring. I’ve been able to work on my technique and my explosive get-off and not have to think as much.? High school football in Canada didn’t exactly prepare him for this level. It’s a different game north of the border, and high-grade talent isn’t on every corner. Winters understood this. So two years ago, he went on a summer-camp tour with his father to get recognized. “I must have gone to 20 that summer,? Winters recalled. “In terms of Miami, it really all started at the Pitt camp. That’s where coach (John) Klacik noticed me.? Klacik was looking for offensive linemen, but he told the RedHawks’ defensive coaches about Winters. Eventually a scholarship offer was made, and he accepted it. Winters had the body and the athleticism. He just needed to acclimate himself to American football. “You guys live and breathe football down here. We’re more of a hockey nation,? Winters said. “That’s why I had to make all those trips to camps. Anything the coaches saw on film from when I was in high school was pretty much dismissed.? He started playing hockey at a very young age and still plays pickup games whenever possible. Winters said he’s always been a very capable defenseman. “I didn’t have the best hands in the league, but I had the wheels,? he said. ? I could skate, I was fast and I was aggressive, especially in front of the net. No one’s touching my goalie if I’m in front of the net. I just loved flying around. “When we were old enough that we started hitting, it really got fun. That obviously transitioned into football because there’s way more contact in football than there is in hockey. I think that’s why I fell in love with football.? He didn’t start playing football until the summer between his seventh- and eighth-grade years. Summer leagues in Canada are more competitive than high school, and Winters played both. He chose to give up competitive hockey when he got to high school. “I thought about it and decided that I’m a football player,? Winters said. “That’s where my passion is.?

C'est le genre de joueur national dont les Alouettes auraient besoin, mais il pourrait être un autre Foucault.