Skip to main content


Presented by

Safeties Antoine Winfield Jr. and Ashtyn Davis could provide safe mid-round options for Browns

The Browns could be looking to add safety depth in the middle rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Before then, executive vice president of football operations and general manager Andrew Berry will have to make a decision on possible contract extensions for Damarious Randall and Eric Murray. The two veterans failed to record an interception last season but could still receive extensions and a chance to improve under new defensive coordinator Joe Woods.

But Cleveland could still look to add some more depth to their defensive backfield. 

Enter Antoine Winfield Jr. and Ashtyn Davis.

Both are safeties that could be available for the Browns on Day 2 of the draft, and both ended their college careers on fruitful notes.

Winfield appears to have the slight edge in value — he earned first-team All-Big Ten Honors after grabbing seven interceptions and leading Minnesota with 88 tackles. His 5-foot-9, 203-pound frame is below average for the league, but draft analyst Lance Zierlein still sees Winfield as a dependable NFL safety with starting potential.

"Winfield isn't as tall or as long as teams like and he's an average athlete, but he's an interchangeable safety who can flat out play," Zierlein wrote. "Winfield is stout and strong with above average body control and balance. He can bang on tight ends in coverage and support the run near the box. His angles to the ball are efficient against the run or pass. He's very instinctive and sees plays unfold, but doesn't have ballhawking twitch to challenge a high number of throws. His tackle net isn't as wide in the open field, so he must tackle with excellent fundamentals. Winfield isn't a star but he's a quality building block with the toughness and intelligence to help fortify the back end."

Winfield, however, is confident that his size won't impact his play. He's the son of Antoine Winfield, who played 14 seasons in the NFL and made three Pro Bowls despite also being 5-foot-9. 

If his dad could do it, Winfield Jr. thinks he can, too.

"It was incredible to see what he does at his size," he said. "He comes home every day. I see him. He's a little guy, but he's out there balling against some great players. That's what was really incredible about watching him play.

"It's not about how big you are or how tall you are. It's about how much fight you have."

If the Browns are looking for a safety with quality special teams versatility, then Davis could be a better choice.

Davis, who's 6-foot-1 and 202 pounds, was California's special teams MVP after his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons and has potential as a kickoff returner, which Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer has said he's hoping to improve upon in 2020.

As a safety, Davis received second-team All-Pac 12 honors his senior year after recording 57 tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups. 

But Davis is willing to play anywhere. His speed, which helped him win the 2017 Pac-12 meet for Cal in the 110-meter hurdles, could allow him to play all over the field.

"I think my best attribute is my versatility," Davis said. "I've played corner, I've played nickel and I've even played 'Will' (linebacker) in a couple packages. I think I'm comfortable anywhere on the field."

The current draft class isn't loaded with top-tier safeties, but there's promising players that will fall in the middle rounds.

Winfield and Davis are two of them. The Browns have plenty of potential routes to go with patching up the safety position. If they turn to the draft, Winfield and Davis are two potential targets.

Check out behind the scenes photos of Browns coaches and executives watching combine workouts

Related Content