LB David Woodward, Utah St.*

6’2” – 230 lbs. – 4.79

Redshirted, then rotated in over ten games the following year. Became a full-time starter and racked up 134-12.5-5.0 with two interceptions the following year. Sustained an undisclosed season-ending injury seven games into his junior year, but still managed to finish with 93-5.0-2.0, then decided to declare for the draft. Overall size is adequate but on the low end of what teams look for in a linebacker, and looks undersized on tape.

Lines up at middle linebacker, but could get some consideration on the weakside as well. Plays a patient and relaxed brand of football, limiting false steps but at times looking a little bit slow to read keys. Pretty smooth athlete with at least adequate range, although he lacks elite recovery speed on snaps in which he’s late to diagnose. Struggles to take on blockers but does a pretty good job of making himself small and using his short-area quickness to work through congestion and get to the ball. Closes well when he finds a clear lane to the ballcarrier. Tackling radius is limited by his lack of length but uses appropriate technique within his frame, with good hit-and-wrap form. Burst looks pretty good when he’s executing run blitzes and being aggressive; would like to see a little bit more aggression to his game. Didn’t look like a big hitter during the games reviewed, but forced six fumbles over the past two seasons.

Stayed on the field on passing downs and looks pretty rangy in coverage. Gets to his spot quickly when working in zones, with quick feet and adequate balance in his backpedal. Capable of shading over opposing receivers and passing them into the next zone. Does a good job of closing on throws in front of him and delivering hits to limit yards after the catch on crossing patterns; can also generate some pop to dislodge throws over the middle. Can carry opposing backs and tight ends into the flats. Was asked to blitz the A-gap at times and looks pretty alert to find clear lanes to the passer; managed to pick up seven sacks over the past two seasons in that capacity.

Was a highly productive starter over the past two seasons, and looks like an adequate athlete and reliable tackler within his radius, offering some ability to drop into coverage as well. However, is a little bit undersized, lacking ideal length and functional strength, and doesn’t quite have the athleticism to make up for some tentativeness when reading keys. Looks more like a mid-to-late-rounder who will have to work on special teams early in his career.

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