2015 NFL Draft Profile: Paul Dawson, LB TCU


TCU linebacker Paul Dawson is an interesting prospect who has a lot of potential to develop into a starting caliber player at the NFL level.  However, some of the traits that are holding him back from being a early selection in the 2015 NFL Draft are based in both his technique and his head.

There are some times when Dawson relies too much on his agility to get past blockers and needs to be able to use strength to push away blockers and get to the ball carrier.  In addition, technique when wrapping up for the tackle needs to be improved, as he typically seems to rely on the impact from his hits to take the player down.  His results at the combine show that he has the strength needed to perform these duties, but needs good coaching to become a more complete player.

But his positive attributes outweigh the negatives.  He’s a quick, agile linebacker who has good instincts and awareness.  He reacts well and can make adjustments on the fly when needed.  There is some concern about his smaller size for the middle linebacker position, but if you can look past that, Paul Dawson is a player that could be a great player who could be had for a great value in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Oct 25, 2014; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs linebacker Paul Dawson (47) during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Combine Measurables:

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 235 pounds
  • Arm Length: 31 1/2″
  • Hand Size: 9 1/2″
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.93 seconds
  • Bench Press: 21 reps
  • Vertical Jump: 28″
  • Broad Jump: 109″
  • 3 Cone Drill: N/A
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.49 seconds

Draft Projection

Paul Dawson is the #74 overall prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft according to CBS Sports and is their #4 inside linebacker in the draft class.  He is projected to be a late 2nd round to early third round selection.

NFL Player Comparison

  • NFL.com: Jessie “The Hammer” Tuggle, Atlanta Falcons
  • CBSSports.com: Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fit For The Vikings

Minnesota is looking for a middle linebacker to start in the place of Jasper Brinkley, who left the team in free agency.  They’ll have competition for the position in training camp, but could always use another young body to throw into the mix.

My Take

I like the idea of someone like Paul Dawson manning the middle for the Vikings.  He’s a hard hitting linebacker whose physical play would be a great addition to this hard-nosed Minnesota defense.  If he falls to the third round or Minnesota is able to move up in the late second round at a low cost, I’d be happy to see him fill the gap in the middle.

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