The Philadelphia Eagles signed Winston Craig as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about the new Eagles defensive tackle, I reached out to the radio/TV voice of the Richmond Spiders: Bob Black. Bob, who is an Eagles fan, was kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you sum up what his college career was like?
Winston was the rock of the defense, and more specifically the defensive line. Number 98 was digging in at the line of scrimmage on virtually every play for four years, and more often than not, wound up in the offensive backfield chasing down quarterbacks and running backs. He would have dominant stretches, where he would have back to back, or three in a row, QB sacs or tackles for loss. He was spectacular at times, but he was always reliable and consistent. Ironically, my most vivid memory of him came in his first collegiate game as a true freshman against VMI. Richmond was up big towards the end of the game when he entered – and he intercepted a pass – a thrill for any defensive lineman, let alone in his first collegiate game. I remember needing to quickly look at our roster to find out who that Number 98 was! He almost returned it for a pick-6. Needless to say, I knew his number for the next four years, as he was a starter from the end of his freshman season. He also had another interception as a senior, and again, was one tackle away from returning it for a TD. As with any defensive lineman, he likes to talk about those INTs!
2) What are his strengths?
Again, reliability and consistency. Also, some versatility, as he was also a standout on special teams with blocked kicks. Great work ethic. Often times saw him out on practice field either on his own or with one other teammate working on technique, quickness and skills. Seemed to be a quiet leader but was definitely a leader in the locker room and on the field – as would be indicated by being a two-time captain. Always seem to make his biggest plays in the biggest games, and at the key moments.
3) What are his weaknesses?
Probably his size in comparison to NFL players. Uses his quickness and technique to try to offset size.
4) Are you surprised he went undrafted?
No, it’s difficult at the FCS level. He was a solid player and one of the better players, but didn’t seem to garner as much attention and accolades as some of the other top defensive players either on our team or in the CAA.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
He could be a solid defensive lineman in a rotation, but also could find time on special teams.
6) What’s your impression of him off the field?
Really solid guy. A little on the quiet side, but always gave good, well-thought out answers. I mostly saw his serious side, but I’m sure there’s a relaxed, fun side to him as well when around his teammates, who really liked and respected him.
Follow Bob on Twitter: @spidervoice. Bob also hosts a daily talk show, The Sports Huddle, 3-4pm on ESPN 950 in Richmond, which is the flagship station of Richmond football and men’s basketball. Check out UR’s official website at RichmondSpiders.com.