Connecticut inside linebacker Yawin Smallwood is one of the most overlooked players in this year’s draft. Sadly, his style of play isn’t for every team in the NFL.
He stands 6’2″ and weighs in at 246 pounds. When you think of a man that size, you would be led to believe that he can be a physically intimidating force in the middle, but that isn’t Yawin Smallwood’s game. Instead, he excels in the passing game, showing good speed and ability to keep up with receivers.
Yawin Smallwood’s struggles in the run game are compounded by his struggle to bring down big bodies. It isn’t a good sign when a linebacker has more assisted tackles than solo tackles. Smallwood is definitely a player that needs to be surrounded by a strong surrounding cast to help him grow and develop at the NFL level.
146 solo tackles
- 332 total tackles
- 27 tackles for a loss
- 8.5 sacks
- 2 interceptions
- 5 forced fumbles
- 2 defensive touchdowns
- Plays big
- Decent in run support
- Good in coverage
- Huge vertical leaping ability
- Discipline on fakes
- Needs to build up muscle
- Not a thumper
- Can be slow to pursue ball carriers
Fit For The Vikings
Minnesota needs some major help at linebacker. They’ll be looking to add depth and potentially starters to the team in this year’s draft.
Yawin Smallwood is an interesting prospect, but I’m not sure he would fit what Minnesota is trying to do defensively. I’d expect the Vikings to look for a more physical player to man the linebacker positions than Smallwood.