Bengals Prospect: TCU LB Paul Dawson Scouting Report

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Dec 31, 2014; Atlanta , GA, USA; TCU Horned Frogs linebacker Paul Dawson (47) sacks Mississippi Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace (14) during the second quarter in the 2014 Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Dawson is a 6 foot 2, 230 lb. senior, 4-3 scheme outside linebacker out of TCU. Dawson went through the JUCO levels his first two years before transferring to TCU and becoming the team’s starter for the final seven games of the 2015 season.

My first impression of Dawson is of his play-making abilities, both while dropping into coverage and in pursuit of the ball carrier. Dawson displays great instincts and a nice first step, which almost always puts him in a favorable position to make a play. He has decent agility with the ability to move in space, which resulted in 91 tackles and four interceptions in only seven starts during the 2015 season.

Team scouts will be concerned with Dawson’s inability to shed blocks at times. He seems to have trouble disengaging from lead blockers, which showed in the game against West Virginia. He showed horrendous technique when not getting low and getting caught with his feet flat.  Dawson was mauled on the play which turned into a 40-yard run for West Virginia (the play begins around the 4:52 mark).

Paul Dawson has tremendous upside. He will likely be undervalued with his 4-3 stand up label, and after notching only seven career starts. He should prove to be an early Day Two, maybe sneaking into the first round late, if he tests well at the combine and/or his Pro Day.

Cincinnati may be very interested in this kid.  I’m sure they will be keeping an eye on his combine numbers in order to solidify any interest. Maybe they’ll request an interview with him, if they’re feeling randy. The loss of Vontaze Burfict was a significant blow last season. The addition of Paul Dawson could prove to be very beneficial for a struggling run defense and one that struggles when dropping their linebackers into coverage.

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