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2015 NFL DRAFT

Yawin Smallwood, ILB

School: Connecticut  |  Conference: AAC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Worcester, MA
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 246 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
21396
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

04/15/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Linebackers: *Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut, 6-2, 246, 5.01, 3...Based on diverse use in college, Smallwood is a prospect capable of being efficient against both the run and the pass in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. He moved from outside to inside linebacker in 2011, which brought him closer to the center of action, but didn't prevent the Huskies from deploying him in coverage even against wide receivers. UConn's Defensive Player of the Year with 118 tackles, including four sacks among his 9.5 stops for a loss.

Frankly: Interesting, but not totally convincing. Production is impressive, but he needs to be tougher as ILB, maybe faster as OLB. Ignore that 5.01-second time in 40 yards at combine, where he pulled a hamstring. He will need to validate that production against a steady diet of top athletes in the NFL. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

12/17/2013 - 2013 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): LB Yawin Smallwood, UConn, Jr., 6-4 236, Worcester, Mass./Doherty,...Smallwood's honor comes after he we was named UConn's Defensive Player of the Year earlier this week. The linebacker started all 12 games for UConn and led the team with 118 tackles, currently placing him at 22nd in the nation and third in the conference with 9.8 stops per contest.

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. Smallwood notched double-digit tackles in six games, including a career-high 16 vs. Towson on Aug. 29, and at least seven in four others. He is a repeat member of the All-Conference First Team after being named to the All-BIG EAST First Team in 2012. - UConn football

12/12/2013 - Top Prospect of Week 14: Connecticut LB Yawin Smallwood...For good reason, much of the focus following Conference Championship Saturday has centered upon impressive wins by Florida State, Auburn, Michigan State and Stanford. From a scouts' perspective, however, one of the most noteworthy performances of the weekend actually took place in a much quieter setting. Shortly after helping the Connecticut Huskies beat the Memphis Tigers 45-10 Saturday, Smallwood announced his intention to forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL draft.

Demonstrating the same big play ability which characterized much of his three starting seasons for the Huskies, the First Team American Athletic Conference (formerly Big East) pick registered seven tackles (six solos), including two sacks and a pass broken up. It wasn't the most statistically dominant game of Smallwood's career but it did show off the versatility of the linebacker, who paced UCONN with 118 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks and was voted the team's Defensive MVP this season.

One of Smallwood's most impressive characteristics is his ability to rush the quarterback. He "only" registered two sacks against the Tigers - with each of them coming in the fourth quarter as the Huskies held a double-digit lead - but his awareness and acceleration resulted in big plays for teammates on several other, earlier snaps. Connecticut defensive tackle Shamar Stephen was credited with the first quarter sack that forced a Memphis field goal attempt for example, but it was Smallwood who forced Tigers' quarterback Paxton Lynch to step up into the arms of the 6-foot-5, 313 pound defender. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

12/12/2013 - Top Prospect of Week 14: Connecticut LB Yawin Smallwood...Possessing an athletic frame and ease of motion typically found in outside linebackers, Smallwood burst upfield on a delayed blitz, nearly taking down Lynch, himself. The speed with which Smallwood entered the quarterback's vision seemed to startle him and Lynch dropped his eyes to scramble rather than keeping his head up to find receivers breaking open. Smallwood's athleticism is just as helpful when dropping into coverage.

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 against Memphis, showing good balance, agility and speed for the position. Complementing Smallwood's athleticism are his long arms and strong hands, other physical characteristics scouts prefer at the position because they help defenders disengage from blocks and latch on to the shifty ball-carriers in the NFL. 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. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

12/08/2013 - UConn's Yawin Smallwood boosts 2014 LB draft class...Connecticut junior LB Yawin Smallwood made it official on Saturday, he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft. He projects as a likely top-100 prospect and day two selection. Smallwood released an open letter and stated his intentions. Smallwood is the No. 4-rated ILB and No. 109 prospect overall for the 2014 class, according to NFLDraftScout.com. He led the Huskies in 2013 with 118 tackles and four sacks, adding 9.5 tackles for loss, 10 passes defended and one interception.

At 6-2 and 244 pounds, Smallwood has NFL size and length with the strength to match, displaying the toughness and energy to finish tackles. He plays fast downhill, but also flashes the range to drop and cover the sidelines. Although he's leaving after his junior season, Smallwood has a very productive resume with 36 starts and 332 total tackles the past three seasons. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

12/07/2013 - UConn Beats Memphis 45-10 for Third Straight Win, Smallwood announced that he will enter the NFL Draft for 2014...UConn redshirt freshman quarterback Casey Cochran (Monroe, Conn.) threw for a school single-game record 461 yards and four touchdowns in leading the University of Connecticut football team to a 45-10 win over Memphis on Saturday before a crowd of 17,086 at Rentschler Field.

The Huskies, who started the season by losing their first nine games, finished the season strong with a three-game winning streak to end the year at 3-9 and 3-5 in the American Athletic Conference. Memphis concludes the year with a 3-9 mark and 1-7 in the league.

Following the game, UConn redshirt junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood (Worcester, Mass.) announced that he will enter the NFL Draft for 2014. Smallwood concluded his college career in fine fashion with two sacks vs. the Tigers and a total of seven tackles. - UConn football

11/29/2013 - WEEK 13 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS NATIONAL FBS DEFENSIVE PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Yawin Smallwood (Connecticut)...Smallwood helped UConn pick up its first win of the season as the Huskies were 28-21 winners at Temple. He had a game-high eight tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss, and scored the game-winning points with a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown. - UConn football/College Football Performance Awards

11/29/2013 - WEEK 13 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Yawin Smallwood, Jr., LB, UConn, Worcester, Mass.,...Smallwood helped UConn pick up its first win of the season as the Huskies were 28-21 winners at Temple. He had a game-high eight tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss, and scored the game-winning points with a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown. Smallwood ranks third in the American Athletic Conference in tackles, averaging 10.2 stops per game, and has registered his second consecutive season with 100 tackles (102 this season). - American Athletic Conference football

11/24/2013 - UConn won its first game of the season and avoided setting a new program record for consecutive losses with a 28-21 come-from-behind win over Temple on Saturday night. Freshman quarterback Casey Cochran tied the game on a 1-yard rush with 6:52 to play and linebacker Yawin Smallwood won it when he intercepted Temple quarterback P.J. Walker and returned the ball 59 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 4:20 remaining.

The Huskies (1-9, 1-6) rallied from a 21-0 halftime deficit with 28 unanswered points in the second half, as Temple (1-10, 0-7) blew its sixth second-half lead of the season and fourth fourth-quarter lead. UConn had tied a program record with 10 consecutive losses coming into the game, a streak dating back to last season. Smallwood tied for a team-high with eight tackles. The interception was his first of the season, and the first pick-six of Walker's career. - AP Sports

09/30/2013 - UConn fires Pasqualoni...University of Connecticut fired coach Paul Pasqualoni as part of a staff shakeup, the school announced Monday. The Huskies are off to a 0-4 start and are 10-18 under Pasqualoni since 2011. Pasqualoni will receive a $750,000 buyout. Associate head coach and offensive line coach George DeLeone was also let go.

"I am making this change in our football coaching staff now as we approach the conference season to see an improved performance from our football program," athletics director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "I am disappointed in the record of our team thus far, but I am confident that our coaching staff and student-athletes will continue to work hard to improve and that will be reflected on the field of play as we start our American Athletic Conference season." The school will name an interim coach at a press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Monday. - The Sports Xchange

09/23/2013 - WEEK 4 CBSSPORTS.COM NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: UConn LB Yawin Smallwood...The Huskies defense did just about everything they needed to do in order to give UConn a chance to pull the upset against Michigan in front of a capacity home crowd, eventually falling 24-21. The unit forced four fumbles, recovering two, and intercepted Devin Gardner twice. In the game, Yawin Smallwood lived up to his billing as the team's defensive leader and NFL prospect. The junior linebacker recorded 13 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass break up against the Wolverines, including a stop of Gardner on 4th-and-2 in the fourth quarter outside the Huskies' red zone.

In 2012, NFL scouts studied UConn's defense to break down Sio Moore, and were blown away by the play of Smallwood, then a sophomore and eventually a First Team All-Big East selection. Should he declare for the 2014 Draft after the season, Yawin Smallwood could easily be one of the first five linebackers drafted in May. - CBSSports.com

09/23/2013 - WEEK 4 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE WEEKLY HONOR ROLL: Yawin Smallwood, Jr., LB, UConn, Worcester, Mass.,...Had 13 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in a 24-21 loss to Michigan. - AAC football

08/11/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2013: LB Yawin Smallwood was a First Team All Big East selection at linebacker in 2012. He led the team with 120 tackles, including 15 behind the line of scrimmage, but will have to take on more of a leadership role this season in the absence of the graduating Trevardo Williams and Blidi Wreh-Wilson. - The Sports Xchange

08/11/2013 - TOP CONNECTICUT PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 1. Yawin Smallwood (6-3, 235, 4.68)* -- While Sio Moore and Trevardo Williams drew the majority of NFL Draft attention last season, there may not have been a better player on the Huskies defense than Smallwood. All the redshirt sophomore did in 2012 was lead the team in tackles with 120, including 15 for a loss and 3.5 sacks, and was selected First-Team All-BIG EAST. At 6'3, Smallwood is a fluid, instinctive 'backer who possesses an explosive first step and good fundamentals as a tackler. He's physical when taking on blockers, and uses his length well to keep himself clean in pursuit.

Although he has played primarily inside at UConn, he's certainly shown the type of range that NFL teams look for in their quests for versatile defenders that can be moved around to multiple spots. He could bulk up a bit, as he doesn't exhibit a lot of natural power to move or control his opponent on contact. He'll also be seen overrunning his gap at times when he locks onto the backfield, so he'll need to continue to improve this year, in terms of overall awareness and discipline. If he does, he could very well end up one of the first five linebackers off the board, should he choose to declare and come out next May. - Derek Stephens, NFLDraftScout.com

07/30/2013 - UConn was seventh in the preseason poll. Paul Pasqualoni's Huskies return their starting quarterback and running back, their top receiver and four of their five starters on the offensive line from last year, but lost six starters from a defensive unit that led the Big East in total defense a year ago. Linebacker Yawin Smallwood registered 120 tackles to rank third in the Big East last year on his way to first team all-conference honors. - AAC football

07/20/2013 - 2013 WALTER CAMP WATCH LIST: LB Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut...Smallwood was a first team All-BIG EAST selection in 2012 and led the Huskies in tackles with 120 and was second in tackles for a loss with 15. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles. Smallwood was tied for 20th in the country in tackles per game (10.0) and was third in the BIG EAST. He was a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week.

Smallwood has played in all 24 UConn games over the past two seasons and has 214 career tackles with 5.5 sacks and 17.5 TFLs. Smallwood has also been named to the watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List and the Bednarik Award Watch List -- both are given to the top defensive player in the country. He was also named to the lists for the Butkus Award that honors the nation's best linebacker. - UConn football

07/17/2013 - 2013 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST: Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut, LB...Smallwood was a first team All-BIG EAST selection in 2012 and led the Huskies in tackles with 120 and was second in tackles for a loss with 15. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles. Smallwood was tied for 20th in the country in tackles per game (10.0) and was third in the BIG EAST. He was a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. Smallwood has played in all 24 UConn games over the past two seasons and has 214 career tackles with 5.5 sacks and 17.5 TFLs. - Connecticut football

07/17/2013 - 2013 BUTKUS AWARD WATCH LIST: Yawin Smallwood, UConn...Smallwood was a first team All-BIG EAST selection in 2012 and led the Huskies in tackles with 120 and was second in tackles for a loss with 15. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles. Smallwood was tied for 20th in the country in tackles per game (10.0) and was third in the BIG EAST. He was a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. Smallwood has played in all 24 UConn games over the past two seasons and has 214 career tackles with 5.5 sacks and 17.5 TFLs. Smallwood has also been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List and the Bednarik Award Watch List for 2013. Both are given to the top defensive player in the country. - Connecticut football

07/17/2013 - 2013 BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: LB Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut...Smallwood was a first team All-BIG EAST selection in 2012 and led the Huskies in tackles with 120 and was second in tackles for a loss with 15. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles. Smallwood was tied for 20th in the country in tackles per game (10.0) and was third in the BIG EAST. He was a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. Smallwood has played in all 24 UConn games over the past two seasons and has 214 career tackles with 5.5 sacks and 17.5 TFLs. - Connecticut football

07/17/2013 - 2013 LOMBARDI AWARD WATCH LIST: LB Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut...Smallwood was a first team All-BIG EAST selection in 2012 and led the Huskies in tackles with 120 and was second in tackles for a loss with 15. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles. Smallwood was tied for 20th in the country in tackles per game (10.0) and was third in the BIG EAST. He was a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. Smallwood has played in all 24 UConn games over the past two seasons and has 214 career tackles with 5.5 sacks and 17.5 TFLs. - Connecticut football

 
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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