Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: ILB Paul Dawson, TCU
6-0, 235 pounds
Hometown: Dallas, TX
40 yard: 4.93 (4.78 & 4.82 at his Pro Day)
3 cone: N/A
News and Notes:
While this year’s crop of inside lineback prospects isn’t filled with must-draft, immediate pro bowl type players, it does offer a ton of depth with a couple players likely coming in at great value as the draft continues on. One player that has the potential to be a great steal or a big flop is Paul Dawson, who was one of the most productive linebackers in college last year but comes in with questions on everything about him including his physical attributes (due to a poor combine), poor football intelligence (rumored to not a film room guy) and his dedication to the game of football as a whole. Still, if Dawson was as successful as he was without trying, what’s his ceiling if he actually did try?
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: “Like the 6-1, 233 pound David, Dawson has the agility and instincts to star if protected up front by a stout defensive line and allowed to roam free. Today’s pass-happy offenses make size less of a detriment at linebacker than it once but schematic limitations could push Dawson into the second round, just as it David.”
- NFL.com: “Outrageously productive linebacker with a nose for the ball. Dawson averages a tackle every 5.3 snaps and either caused or recovered a total of 8 turnovers during the 2014 season. Evaluators understand that Dawson has been a handful while at TCU and that will turn some teams off to him completely. Dawson can play inside in a 2-gap scheme but is a natural fit at 4-3 WILL.”
- Definitely has the speed and agility to cover sideline to sideline
- Strength is a bigger questions, has trouble disengaging with offensive linemen and more often than not will get ridden out of a play if a player get their hands on him
- Doesn’t really have the size that you would prefer, but does fit the mold of the “modern” inside linebacker.
- Even as quick as he is, he doesn’t seem to hit the hole and scrape as well as you would expect
- Will run around blockers instead of going through them
- Is above average in pass coverage but average in run defense even with his padded stats
- How well will he translate into the NFL? TCU plays a simple defensive scheme where he was surrounded by good talent and there have been comments about his commitment to the film room and the game as a whole.
If drafted by the Packers
Frankly I personally, don’t see the “it” factor when it comes to Dawson. While he is a good linebacker, he doesn’t strike me as a player worthy of a 1st or even 2nd round selection, like many had predicted coming into the offseason. Add to that one of the worst combine performances this year (Roger Godell ran a 5.53 40 compared to Dawsons 4.93) and you have to wonder if his production is simply a product of the team and less about his potential and skill as a player. If the concerns about his commitment to the game and to his team are true, I would have to suspect that the Packers would not draft him until late in day 3 if at all.——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.