Chase Winovich – Edge – Michigan: While not a pressing need for the Bears the need at Edge depth is still there with the losses of Acho and Lynch. The Bears do have Isaiah Irving and Kylie Fitts on the roster but if Winovich is still on the board when the Bears first pick at 87th overall on day two comes up he would be a nice value pick to throw in the mix.
Winovich is more of a floor type prospect than ceiling but there is still a projectable ceiling for him as well. There is a very good chance he has a more productive pro career than college. Especially as a pass rusher. Since his sophomore season he has compiled just 18.5 sacks in three seasons with the Wolverines. However, according to Pro Football Focus Winovich ranks 12th in pass rush win percentage and 18th in pressure percentage the past two seasons of all Edge Defenders in the FBS among power-5 conference teams. So his sack totals could conceivably be higher than in college. Especially playing on a defense like the Bears with several linemen in need of extra attention in the blocking scheme by opposing offenses.
He is already a very good all around Edge who is extremely sound versus the run. In his career at Michigan, Winovich has compiled 166 tackles in 41 games 43 resulting in a loss of yardage for opposing offenses. Winovich is often viewed as a stay at home edge setter. By his own words he feels he’s being stereotyped, “I think people just kind of labeled me or were worried that I was just this try-hard white guy or just a high-motor guy,” Winovich said in a March interview with Pro Football Focus.
However, he is a very athletic man at 6’3″ 260 lb. At the combine he put up a sub 4.6 40 (4.59) and ran a blazing 3-cone (6.94) and a blistering short shuttle (4.11). These numbers totally translate on the field too as you will see in the GIFS I have compiled.
Stay At Home Run Defender: This is what Winovich is known for and with good reason. On this GIF he shows his recognition skills not getting baited into pinning his ears back on the read option to go after the Quarterback and stays set and in excellent run defense positioning to secure the tackle.
Backside pursuit: There are constant examples of this from Winovich who literally never quits on a play until the play is whistled dead no matter where the ball is. On this play, he simply runs down a screen pass on the opposite side of the field.
Closing speed: On this play, Winovich shows off that sub 4.6 speed with amazing closing speed to put a massive hit on the Quarterback to force an incompletion downfield almost resulting in a pick.
Hand Fighting: On this play, Winovich shows his ability to neutralize the tackles reach advantage by using his hands to get over the top of the Tackles hands and bat them down before he can deliver the punch thus, using his forward momentum against him. The Tackle falls forward and off balanced and Winovich runs around him and delivers a devastating hit while also dislodging the ball with his hands from the Quarterback for the sack fumble resulting in a touchdown for the Wolverines.
Motor: Here, Winovich shows his relentless effort chasing down a runner he initially gets beat by. Rather than pouting and accepting defeat he turns on the jets and runs him down downfield for the tackle.
Setting the Edge: With Winovich at the edge his team will never have to worry about him vacating his assignment to go stat hunting. On this play, he takes on the much larger lineman holding the Edge forcing the back to go around him taking away the cutback lane. Winovich than disengaged from the block tossing the Tackle aside and making the tackle for a small loss behind the line of scrimmage.
Shedding the block: Just as he showed on the previous play Winovich shows off his strong hands using his enormous 10″ mitts to disengage from the would be blocker literally spinning him around in a full 360 degrees to make the play for one of his many TFL’s against Sequon Barkley no less.
Bending the Edge: On this snap, Winovich shows that speed around the corner forcing the Quarterback to step up to avoid the sack. However, in typical Winovich fashion he does not give up on the play and comes back around putting a jarring hit on the Quarterback for the sack fumble.
Quickness inside: Winovich shows of his agility and lateral quickness faking a step towards the Edge and quickly darting inside to beat the Tackle like a drum leaving him blocking air as Winovich makes the TFL on the zone read.
Coverage Ability: Michigan didn’t use Winovich in coverage much if at all. Putting through as many videos as I could in my limited time I could not find one video of Winovich on coverage or even dropping back in a zone blitz. However, in his field drills at the combine he showed the fluidity, feet and impressive hands to be able to handle the task.
Winovich had a goal going into the draft off-season to prove he is much more than a try hard effort player. In the areas he could control he did. Going of a web-chart he scores high comparative to players at his position in speed, Agility, and Quickness.
The areas that hurt him most are his physical traits like height, weight, length and in his jump metrics showing explosion. He wasn’t awful in these categories but was in the low percentile to comparable players of his size and his positional group.