DE Chase Winovich – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

Chase Winovich

The Patriots Rookie Spotlight is a daily series where I will go down the list and break down each of the 10 players taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. So far we have covered N’Keal Harry and Joejuan Williams. Today we will break down one of the most passionate football players in the country, Chase Winovich.

Chase Winovich was selected 77th overall after developing into a dominant player for Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines. Winovich had to work his way onto the field at Michigan. He was red-shirted in 2014 and only recorded two tackles in 2015, but in his last three seasons he was able to prove his worth on the gridiron.

Athleticism and NFL Comparison

Winovich is measured at 6’3″, 256 lbs. and profiles as a 4-3 Defensive End/3-4 Edge Rusher. He ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, which was actually faster than fellow rookie DB Joejuan Williams. This is not the most relevant combine result based on his position, but his straight line speed is worth noting.

People will compare Winovich to Clay Mathews, and they are not wrong to do so. While this might be considered a cheap comparison because of their matching golden flows, they are actually quite similar. Mathews is listed as 6’3″ 255 lbs. – one Chipotle Burrito away from having the exact same measurements as the Patriots newest pass rusher. They also play the same somewhat unique role and play with a high motor. Chase even picked #52 for training camp, which Clay has been wearing for ten seasons.

Playing With a Passion

Chase Winovich is at the top of the list when it comes to passionate athletes. What makes him fit in New England is his high motor and willingness to learn. Winovich was not the strongest or the most skilled, but he plays harder than his opponent. Not only will he not take a play off, but he will work through the whistle. This will wear down opposing linemen, making him an effective pass rusher.

Another staple of Winovich’s game is his willingness to learn. He has talked extensively about wanting to know the why behind every action and constantly wondering if he can be better. Here was one of his comments on his curiosity: “Like, why is this the way we’re thinking? Is there any way we can do it better?” His constant attention to detail and desire to improve each day will make him fit right in with the Patriots.

Dominant Run Stopper

One part of Chase’s game that really stands out is his ability to stop the run. His issue is that by playing 100% all the time, he has trouble containing the edge sometimes as he is going full tilt. Other than that correctable issue, he has been quite impressive. Because Chase plays so hard, he is constantly making his presence felt in the backfield. In 2017 Winovich led the Big Ten with 19 tackles for loss. In 2018 he was fourth in the Big Ten with 16. Chase has all the tools to be very disruptive against the run game at the next level.

Future With The Patriots

Winovich will have to work for his playing time, much like he did at Michigan. The Patriots have a deep edge rushing group that features Michael Bennett, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Derek Rivers. That said, Winovich will still have plenty of opportunities to carve a role out for himself on the Patriots defense. One role the Patriots have yet to really fill is the one Rob Ninkovich left behind. Ninkovich never took a play off and became a opportunistic weak-side edge rusher. Chase can develop into a similar player and has the potential to be better than Ninkovich when having to drop back in coverage and keep up with an opposing third-down back.

If you liked this article, check out some other installments of this series, where I covered first-round pick N’Keal Harry here, and second-round pick Joejuan Williams here. Stayed tuned for my breakdown of Damien Harris tomorrow.

N’Keal Harry – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

Joejuan Williams – Patriots Rookie Spotlight

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