Gophers’ draft prospects

Antoine Winfield Jr., S

Draft projection: Second round

Comment: Winfield is one of 59 prospects invited to participate in the virtual NFL draft starting Thursday. The unanimous All-America hopes to be a first-rounder just like his father, former Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield Sr. Winfield has unteachable instincts and playmaking ability. His one knock is size, at 5-9 and 203 pounds. NFL.com still grades him as a starter within his first two seasons as a pro.

Tyler Johnson, WR

Draft projection: Fourth or fifth round

Comment: With a historically deep bench of wide receivers available in this draft, Johnson’s place is a little vague. The Gophers’ record holder for receiving yards and touchdowns certainly has the film to make him an attractive pick. But his speed has always been a question mark, especially after he chose not to run the 40-yard dash at the combine and then couldn’t at the canceled pro day. NFL.com grades the north Minneapolis native as a special teams or backup player.

Carter Coughlin, LB

Draft projection: Fifth or sixth round

Comment: Coughlin is moving back to his original outside linebacker position after taking on the edge rusher role for the Gophers. Being a tweener could hurt him, but he can establish himself as a special teams contributor. NFL.com has him as an end-of-roster or practice-squad player.

Kamal Martin, LB

Draft projection: Seventh round

Comment: Martin endured an injury-plagued senior season and has spent time regaining full fitness. He attracted scouts’ attention early last season, but questions about his health have likely cooled those pursuits. NFL.com grades him as a priority free agent.

Rodney Smith, RB

Projection: Undrafted free agent

Comment: He set the Gophers’ record for all-purpose yards and had a resurgent 1,000-yard final season coming back from a torn ACL. But his health will still cause pause. Not having a chance to show his stuff at the combine or a pro day was an unfortunate blow.

Sam Renner, DT

Projection: Undrafted free agent

Comment: Off the radar before his senior season, the walk-on-turned-starter suddenly had game broadcasters calling out his NFL potential. He’s still relatively unknown and slightly undersized at 275 pounds, but some team likely will give him a chance.

The rest

Other NFL hopeful Gophers who would have participated in pro day: RB Shannon Brooks, LB Thomas Barber, CB Chris Williamson, DE Winston DeLattiboudere and DE Tai’yon Devers.