Vikings Draft 2015: LB Paul Dawson Defends Himself After Combine Performance


TCU LB Paul Dawson has something to say to critics who are knocking him after his poor performance in Sunday’s combine drills.

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After posting a slower-than-expected 40 time in Indy, Dawson went on Twitter to remind folks that there’s more to playing linebacker than running in a straight line in shorts.

True enough. Except, experts are knocking Dawson for more than just his slow 40 time. Bucky Brooks of found plenty of negatives in Dawson’s overall performance:

"The workouts in Indy are not supposed to hurt a player’s stock, but it will be hard for scouts to overlook Dawson’s disappointing performance on Sunday. He posted pedestrian times in the 40 (4.93) and didn’t show any explosiveness in the jumping drills (28-inch vertical, 109-inch broad). Those lackluster marks accompanied a dismal performance in the positional workout, where he looked stiff and upright while changing directions. Although Dawson’s game tape is as solid as any prospect in the 2015 class, this lack of athleticism and explosiveness could prompt some teams to drop their grades on the standout linebacker."

The Vikings as we know put way more stock in game tape than workouts, or at least they did last year while evaluating Teddy Bridgewater, so yesterday may not have hurt Dawson much in their eyes.

Mock drafters certainly have a nice long list of “red flags” to use against Dawson as they endlessly re-work their rankings. Not only did he underwhelm at the combine, he also has been tagged as a low-character guy after reports of a failed drug test and incidents of tardiness.

Dawson already went on the defensive about the “character concerns,” telling USA Today he found the accusations “hurtful.” This guy spends a lot of time defending himself, that’s for sure. If Mike Zimmer and the Vikings are looking at Dawson, they have plenty of stuff to chew on before finalizing his spot on their board.

For the record, Mike Mayock had Dawson as his #1 linebacker before the combine.

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