Yawin Smallwood NFL Draft Profile

Yawin Smallwood NFL Draft Profile

Yawin Smallwood, Junior, Linebacker, Connecticut



Yawin Smallwood wasted little time becoming one of the best middle linebackers in college football. As a redshirt freshman in 2011, the 6-3, Worcester, Massachusetts native earned a spot in Connecticut’s starting lineup. On the year he totaled 94 tackles, with 2.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks. He has done a great job using his instinct and size to quickly get to the ball and bring his man down.

Smallwood followed up his productive freshman campaign with an even better sophomore season. He led the Huskies with 120 tackles and added 15.0 tackles-for-loss, 4.0 sacks, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Smallwood is certainly more effective reading the play and coming up to make a tackle, and occasionally a bit hit, but he is not bad at dropping back into coverage either. 


Final Projection:

Every team, regardless of defensive scheme, could use a 6-3, 244 pound middle linebacker who can make just about any tackle. That does open up Smallwood’s potential in the NFL. Despite having two very productive seasons under his belt, Smallwood will still have another year of eligibility after the 2014 NFL Draft and he may be wise to return to Connecticut for his senior season. Inside linebackers have to be something very special to garner a high first round draft pick and Smallwood is not in that class and probably never will be. However, with another productive season in 2013, Smallwood will not have much else to prove at the collegiate level and he has the potential to be a solid second round pick in April.


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