DE, Texas Tech
The numbers: 6011/272/4.72
2006 stats: 30 tackles, 33 assists, 9.5-38 tackles for loss, 6-32 sacks, 3-26-0 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles
|(Texas Tech Athletics)|
A natural pass-rusher with a good first step, solid moves and decent hand use, Dawson has proven he can get to the quarterback. More important, once he gets there, he delivers a solid blow and knows how to strip the ball. A smart, tough kid, he keeps his pads down.
He has not indicated a strong ability to stop the run, however, especially on plays direct right at him. He does, though, have some pursuit and zone coverage abilities, so many teams are projecting him as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Dawson's stock is rising, but he's definitely a second-day/third-day prospect.
Reminds me of: Josh Mallard, the old Colts draft pick who could get penetration sometimes, but was mostly just thrown around. He's since found a home as a situational guy in Atlanta and had four sacks and two forced fumbles last year.
How he fits: On many teams, Dawson would be asked to play linebacker, despite a lack of experience there. the Colts, though, would throw him into what's always a crowded mix at defensive end and see how he fares.