NFL Draft Scouting Report: Paul Dawson

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Oct 11, 2014; Waco, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs linebacker Paul Dawson (47) tackles Baylor Bears running back Shock Linwood (32) during the game at McLane Stadium. The Bears defeat Horned Frogs 61-58. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Scouts’ Take

Rob Rang of said of Dawson, “Possesses great agility for the position, showing quickness, balance and flexibility to avoid blockers and handle coverage responsibilities. Quickly locates the football and shows terrific speed and effort in pursuit. Dawson shows good awareness and ball-skills. Isn’t afraid to attack gaps when he sees opportunities to make a play behind the line of scrimmage. Tackles low, wrapping ball-carriers securely.

Relies on agility rather than mass or strength to take on blocks in the hole. Rarely extends to keep blockers away, instead dancing laterally to slip by. In doing so, Dawson takes risky angles at times, leaving cutback opportunities and the defense vulnerable. Comes with typical JUCO questions about his maturity and ability to handle a complicated playbook.”

Lance Zlerlein of said, “Outstanding instincts. Sees what’s happening on the field and senses what’s about to happen. Always plays down hill, attacking the line of scrimmage. Second-level ghost who’s a nightmare for offensive lineman to engage. Chases sideline to sideline. Excels in pass coverage, allowing just 35.7 percent of passes against him to be completed.

Not a wrap up tackler and needs work in finishing blocks. Freelances and sometimes lacks discipline to maintain assignments. Instincts of a middle linebacker but likely too small for the position. Scouts are very worried about his character and say he’s not beloved within the program. Questions have been raised about his commitment to the process. Not a film studier.”

Next: My Take