Know Your Prospect: Chase Winovich, Michigan's Targaryen-Wildling hybrid edge rusher

It's draft season and it's time to get acquainted with some potential future 49ers

Tommy Call
April 01, 2019 - 10:22 pm

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

We’re officially inside one month away from the 2019 NFL Draft, and 95.7 The Game’s “Know Your Prospect” series is underway. Over the next month we will highlight some of the top players, best fits and names you should know for the 2019 draft class. With Jimmy Garoppolo coming back from injury and with pressure building for John Lynch in year three the 49ers desperately need to put together a draft haul that can make an impact day one.

Related: Know Your Prospect: Hakeem Butler, the Iowa State receiver with the upside of A.J. Green

 

Chase Winovich, Michigan, Edge

Height: 6’3

Weight: 256 lbs

40-Yard Dash: 4.59

2018 Statistics: 5 Sacks, 14 QB hits, 34 QB Pressures (According to Pro Football Focus), 40 solo tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 3rd Team All-American

Athleticism:

Before we get to the positive on Chase Winovich, we have to address the “negative.” Questions circulated around Winovich’s athletic traits in the pre-draft process, but at the combine he surprised everyone elite test times in multiple categories. He ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, 6.94 3-cone drill and a 4.11 20-yard shuttle. All times ranked in the 90th percentile above as a defensive end. Winovich’s stellar combine performance put him into a group of elite company:

Run Stuffer:

Winovich is one of the better edge run stuffers in the draft class. He uses his football IQ to easily diagnose run plays to be in position to make the play from the jump. Winovich understands blocking schemes while attacking gaps to disrupt the play and find the football.

He is discipline on the edge and uses his athletic ability to stretch the play. Even when when Winovich can’t get to the football you’ll see him blow up pulling guards to clog run lanes. Winovich is a closer in the run game, he never gives up on the play and will make tackles from sideline to sideline. Winovich can uniquely find leverage against bigger offensive tackles to stretch and stick tackles in their place. Winovich ranked second overall with a 11.8 run stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus while racking up 17 tackles for loss.

Hand Usage:

As a pass rusher, Winovich’s best trait is his hand usage. Winovich has active hands that he uses to keep blockers at a distance while keeping his feet chattering to get to the quarterback. When Winovich does get locked up with a blocker he has an elite push-pull move that ended with many offensive tackles laying face first. Winovich uses his hands in a bevy of ways that keeps his blocker off balance snap after snap. At times Winovich can look like a wild man while getting to the quarterback, but his active hands seem to have an approach with each rush.

Motor:

The number one thing you’ll hear about Winovich is his elite motor. His effort on the football field is rare for even some of the biggest grinders in the National Football League. To say he plays with his Targaryen-like hair on fire wouldn’t do him justice. When watching Winovich you’ll see him turn up all over the field. You may line up to watch one of Michigan’s other defensive standouts like Devin Bush or Rashan Gary, but you’ll end up focusing on Winovich as he continually steals the show. Winovich wasn’t a captain for the Wolverines, but was unquestionably one of the countries best leaders.


Grade: Top-25 pick

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