Throughout the month of June, we're breaking down each of the Jets' undrafted free agent signings. Today, we're moving on to look at linebacker Anthony Wint.
The 22-year old Wint is listed as 6-foot-0 and 224 pounds and was a four year starter at Florida International. He was a three-time second team all-Conference USA selection and racked up 336 tackles in his college career.
Wint was a productive linebacker in high school and made an immediate impact at FIU, starting nine games in his freshman year and racking up 48 tackles. He was named to the C-USA all-freshman team.
In 2015, he became a full-time starter and racked up 88 tackles as he was named as a second team all-conference selection for the first of three consecutive years. In 2016, he had a career-best 108 tackles and in 2017 he set his career-high in tackles for loss with eight.
He ended his college career in second place in the Panthers' all-time record books for total tackles with 336. He also had seven fumble recoveries, 1.5 sacks, one interception, five passes defensed and three forced fumbles.
Wint was invited to play in the Tropical Bowl all-star game, from which three players were drafted. He was not invited to attend the scouting combine and did not receive a draftable grade from many online sources.
He didn't initially get an undrafted free agent contract but was signed by the Jets having attended their rookie camp on a tryout basis.
Let's move onto some more in-depth analysis of what Wint brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study.
Wint is not regarded as particularly athletic and his pro day workout did little to dispel this as he only ran a 4.82 40-yard dash and posted below average agility and strength numbers. However, he did post a 35-inch vertical and a 121-inch broad jump, showing some of the explosiveness that is apparent in his film at times.
Although listed a 6-foot-0 and 224 pounds officially, Wint actually measured 5-foot-11 and 231 pounds at his pro day. He looks like he has the frame to potentially add a bit more weight than that.
At FIU, Wint played in a conventional ILB role, which is presumably also how the Jets will use him in preseason. Earlier on in his career he was used more as a 4-3 outside linebacker.
Wint would sometimes match up with receivers in the slot, although he'd rarely be asked to cover downfield. However, he would sometimes take deep drops from middle linebacker in passing situations.
Wint was an extremely productive run defender throughout his career but 2017 was definitely his best season in terms of efficiency.
Here Wint (#53) shows his ability to diagnose the play and read the cutback, then negotiates his way through traffic to explode back to the ball:
However, he can be over-aggressive at times. Here, he seems to have the play diagnosed, but overruns it slightly and is sealed on the backside by the tight end:
Wint is usually a reliable wrap-up tackler and he can stop ball carriers in their tracks and drive them back. He also forced three fumbles in his career. However, he can take bad angles at times and doesn't have elite range.
In 2016, he missed over 20 tackles, but he much improved his tackle efficiency last season. Here was a missed tackle that led to a touchdown, but it had more to do with him simply not getting to the outside in time, rather than poor technique:
Wint has good awareness in coverage but he's not at his best in man coverage situations. As you can see he doesn't look entirely comfortable staying with a receiver in open space:
In college, he was often employed in underneath coverage, reacting to short passes rather than chasing receivers around. On this play, he's in good position to react to a speedy receiver coming across the middle, but can't get him down and he breaks free for a score:
Wint broke up five passes in his college career but his only interception came on this Hail Mary pass, although it was an athletic play:
Wint watches a lot of film and makes good reads. While he doesn't look entirely comfortable in coverage and occasionally takes an overaggressive angle, his ability to diagnose, react and close is what makes him an effective player in spite of lacking elite measurables.
Here's an excellent example as his quickness into the backfield means he's able to avoid the cut block before the back can get to him and then blow up the run:
Wint rarely rushes the passer more than a few times a game and only had three half-sacks in his college career. He didn't generate much pressure, although his senior year was his best in that regard. He's an effective blitzer up the middle, but also contributes on react blitzes and cleaning up:
Despite a lack of size, Wint plays with good physicality. He'll take on blockers in the running game and tackles aggressively. He was a decent wrestler in high school and still listed wrestling as a hobby when he was in college, so he should have a good understanding of how to use leverage to get off blocks, although this is still an area that needs work.
Wint could be a good special teamer at the NFL level. He contributed three special teams tackles in 2016. On this play, he gets downfield really well and, although he didn't complete the tackle himself, he slowed the return man down for his teammates to rally to the ball:
Wint hasn't had major problems with penalties during his time at FIU. However, he did show some frustration on this play which came towards the end of a blowout loss. That was an uncharacteristic moment from him:
Wint hasn't had many injury problems in his college career. He missed three games with a left knee injury in his freshman year but only one more game in the rest of his career, due to an undisclosed injury last year.
Wint has received rave reviews for his intangibles, being described as intelligent, serious and a good leader. He has a quiet, mature demeanor and a professional attitude to the game as he watches a lot of a film and takes care of his body.
On the field he is a good communicator and was responsible for getting everyone lined up on defense.
Wint's coach at FIU - Ron Turner - said he conducts himself like a 10-year NFL veteran and compared his mature mentality to that of Tony Pashos and former Jets guard Brandon Moore, two longtime NFL players who he coached in the past.
Wint's lack of size probably means he would fit best in the Jets' system as Darron Lee's backup. He obviously has the smarts and maturity to call the defense in that role, as Lee will be doing this year.
The team might also be keen to get a good look at him on special teams. However, his limitations in coverage probably mean he's not a candidate to be used in subpackages.
Wint is not particularly athletic, doesn't make many impact plays and didn't play at a major program. However, it seems like he's another player whose intangibles are off the charts.
Perhaps not surprisingly, this has led to Wint making a good early impression at OTA's and mini-camp, having already been a standout at rookie camp to earn his contract. Of course, once the pads go on, his physical limitations are more likely to affect him adversely, but it will be interesting to see how he handles that challenge, especially once preseason is underway.
Even if Wint's limitations prevent him from competing for playing time, it's always good to have that kind of player in camp because the other players will be forced to be on their game to beat them out.