Yawin Smallwood, ILB

School: Connecticut  |  Conference: AAC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Worcester, MA
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 246 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
5.012.841.6718 36 1/29'0"--

Player Overview

With the NFL increasingly turning towards the pass, inside linebackers generally drop on draft day. Smallwood's intriguing traits, however, could make him an exception to the rule.

A more fluid athlete than Stanford's Shayne Skov or Wisconsin's Chris Borland, NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated senior inside linebackers, Smallwood was asked to cover wide receivers as well as running backs for the Huskies, demonstrating the versatility to intrigue 3-4 and 4-3 defensive coordinators, alike.

Smallwood, UConn's Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, started all 12 games for UConn and led the team with 118 tackles, the second consecutive season in which he finished atop the team rankings. Considering the presence of future Oakland Raiders linebacker Sio Moore for the Huskies, that was no small accomplishment. Smallwood also picked up 9.5 TFL and a team-high four sacks, adding an interception, nine pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles to an all-around dominant season. Although he left after his junior season, Smallwood has a very productive resume with 36 starts and 332 total tackles the past three years and is pro-ready.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Possesses a lanky frame more typical of an outside linebacker... Boasts long arms and impressive fluidity, allowing him to be just as effective in coverage as in supporting the run and attacking the passer. Good balance, agility and speed for the position. Uses his length and strength well to disengage from blocks and latch on to the shifty ball-carriers, showing the balance to adjust in space. Displays the toughness and energy to finish tackles, exploding into ball-carriers. One of Smallwood's most impressive characteristics is his ability to rush the quarterback. He "only" registered four in 2013 but his awareness and acceleration routinely resulted in big plays for teammates and he could be just scratching the surface of his potential in this area.

WEAKNESSES: Takes false steps, too often biting on play-action and getting himself out of position. Doesn't possess ideal muscular development (especially in his upper body) for the inside linebacker position. Flashes physicality but is more of a grab-and-drag tackler, rather than an intimidator in the middle.

COMPARES TO: Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots - Smallwood's length, flashes of physicality and athleticism is sure to intrigue scouts who could see him as a poor man's version of New England's star.

--Rob Rang

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Player News
05/12/2014 - A closer look at the Falcon's picks: Round 7/253 - Yawin Smallwood, MLB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut...Smallwood played middle linebacker for the Huskies and flowed well to the ball. He was a team captain in 2013. - The Sports Xchange


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