Height: 6'3 Weight: 235 lbs
Strengths: Height/Weight/Speed guy that started every game in his college career (Underclassman who redshirted in 2010). Possesses good burst when pursuing ball-carriers and is capable of covering the run from sideline to sideline with his speed. Above average tackler who wraps-up and rarely loses a ball-carrier in his grasp. Smallwood led UConn in tackles in 2013 with 118 total tackles, good for 17th in the nation among linebackers. Since his start in 2011, Smallwood ranks 4th in the nation in total tackles with 332.
Weaknesses: Is average, at best, in pass coverage. Often gets caught looking by the play-action fake and ends up being a tick too late in recovering. While his speed helps in coverage, he doesn't have the anticipation and quickness necessary to cover faster RB's in coverage. He tends to get caught in the wash at the line of scrimmage, sometimes so badly that he loses track of the ball. Also, he has some issues when it comes to pursuit angles. Both are big no-no's for Mike LB's.
Bottom Line: Yawin made the transition from the OLB to ILB in his first year. His skill-set and experience make him a versatile LB that many teams covet. Even after three years, he is still raw in the pass game but with a good LB coach and scheme he could flourish very quickly.
Projected Round: 3
Team He Fits Best On: A 4-3 defense looking for a middle linebacker. Teams like the Broncos, Saints, and Buccaneers could be possible landing spots. However, his versatility makes him an intriguing option for the Redskins if he drops to the 4th round.
Game Film Reel: vs. Michigan 2013. 13 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PD. (Strengths/weaknesses on full display from 4:00-6:30)
Yawin Smallwood (LB UCONN) vs Michigan 2013 (via Aimal Arsalla)