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Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down TCU LB Dee Winters to the 49ers

Rohan Chakravarthi
May 5, 2023 at 12:30 PM--

After a controversial third round, where the San Francisco 49ers selected kicker Jake Moody and tight end Cameron Latu, the team pivoted to filling up other positions, targeting TCU linebacker Dee Winters in the sixth round with the 216th pick.

Winters now becomes the first linebacker that San Francisco has added this season after losing Azeez Al-Shaair to the Tennessee Titans in free agency.

Did the 49ers strike paydirt once again on a late-round pick, especially at a position where they've developed well over the Kyle Shanahan era?


Obviously, time will tell how Winters will make an impact on the 49ers, but the player is very intriguing, especially for a 49ers defensive scheme that values speedy linebackers that have good instincts.

Winters ran a 4.49 40-yard dash and a 1.56 10-yard split at the NFL Combine, which is evident on tape when seeing his trigger, downhill explosiveness, and sideline-to-sideline speed.

Now, Winters, like many 49ers targets at the linebacker position, is undersized, limiting his ability to shed blocks against bigger bodies near the line of scrimmage in the run game.

However, Winters's speed and instincts for shooting gaps are going to be valuable when placed in the right position in the running game, as well as when blitzing.

But, I wouldn't be surprised to see Winters in coverage, as his speed allows him to carry with running backs out of the backfield, providing him some versatility as a weakside linebacker.

If Winters's size limits his upside at the next level, he could pan out as a solid special-teamer for the 49ers, adding to the deep room that already possesses undrafted free agent Marcelino McCrary-Ball among the reserves looking to make their way onto the 53-man roster.

In the sixth round, Winters is good value for the 49ers, who have shown an affinity for finding value in the later rounds of the NFL Draft after reaching in the past during earlier rounds.
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