Perrion Winfrey announced his arrival with a raucous opening interview for the Cleveland Browns‘ press.
It was apparent early that confidence was not going to be an issue with the 4th round pick.
Winfrey’s boisterous presence hasn’t faded much since that day.
Among other things, Winfrey announced that he and Myles Garrett wanted to “take over.”
The draft was loaded with defensive talent and @chad_reuter thinks these rookies are going to stand out among the rest 😤
— NFL GameDay (@NFLGameDay) June 28, 2022
Whether he meant the Browns’ pass rush, the whole defense, or the NFL was left to conjecture.
Regardless, Winfrey will do well to stick with one of his initial plans of attack.
That is, to follow and mimic whatever he can from his All-Pro teammate.
Because confidence alone doesn’t turn a player into an NFL starter.
What Winfrey Brings To the Browns
Winfrey was the 8th interior defensive lineman taken in the 2022 NFL Draft out of 22 drafted overall
His power and explosiveness were mentioned on most draft cards.
Winfrey was a top-ranked junior college player before joining Oklahoma in 2020.
In 2 seasons, he showed consistent urgency and the instinct to play through the whistle.
Perrion's motor doesn't stop 😳
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) July 13, 2022
Over 40 percent of his tackles went for a loss, including 5.5 sacks last year.
He owns a violent hand sweep that helps keep him on a beeline for the quarterback.
Cleveland has to coach some deficiencies out of Winfrey, however.
Draft cards also noted Winfrey’s substandard lateral movement and balance, and a slow snap reaction.
Red Flag On The Rookie?
Winfrey’s personality is part of the package, but he might consider thinking twice about some brash comments.
It is one thing to laud the biggest star of your new team, and quite another to announce that you and he will take over.
Jadeveon Clowney is among those who are probably not ready to play second fiddle to any rookie.
Winfrey’s praise of Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods might be over the top, too.
— John E. Hoover (@johnehoover) May 31, 2022
Especially as the rookie never misses a chance to denigrate his former coordinator at Oklahoma.
Similarly, it is natural for Winfrey to be hyped about the Browns drafting his OU linemate, Isaiah Thomas.
But surely he doesn’t mean to slight 3rd round pick, Alex Wright, or any of his other teammates.
In a locker room stressing unity, a rookie doesn’t want to come across as condescending or judgmental.
Can Winfrey Start For The Browns This Year?
Winfrey, like most rookies, brings a ton of promise and skill to the Browns’ table.
But there is a reason he wasn’t drafted ahead of Wright or 7 interior linemen.
Myles Garrett said as much when asked at a Browns presser his opinion of the brash rookie.
“(Winfrey) works hard,” Garrett said. “We just have to get him in the right place at the right time. He wants to learn. And he is all work. He goes full speed, and is trying to get rid of some things… and take (what) he needs for the NFL and refine it. I think (defensive line coach Chris Kiffin) is doing a good job trying to show him what we are working with and what won’t work.”
In short, Winfrey is a hard worker with some workable traits and some things that need to be corrected.
Joe Woods on The @KenCarmanShow on Perrion Winfrey: "Very passionate high energy player, he fits the profile that we were looking for, I think the energy is just bonus."
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) June 13, 2022
Every fan knows a confident player who works as hard as Winfrey will find a way to contribute to his team.
But remember that Joe Woods held Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah back until he mastered more of the playbook.
Winfrey has a role from the get-go, but it is reasonable to expect his first Browns start is well down the road.