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Robert Golden

| | College: Arizona
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Golden was a five-star defensive back recruit out of high school, choosing Arizona over Oregon, UCLA and Fresno State.

He saw immediate action in 2008 as a true freshman backup, recording 13 tackles, 1.0 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Golden began camp at cornerback before his sophomore season, but became a starter at strong safety in 2009, finishing with 41 tackles, one pass breakup and 2 interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

He moved back to corner in 2010 as a junior and started all 13 games, recording 60 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups, one forced fumble and an interception, earning Second-Team All-Pac 10 honors. Golden moved back to safety as a senior, but also saw time at cornerback, finishing with a career-best 69 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, one forced fumble and one interception, which he returned for a score.

Golden is a versatile secondary player who has played at cornerback and safety, starting the last 38 games of his collegiate career. He is a confident, vocal and tough kid with NFL-level athleticism, but is overaggressive in his playing style and often caught out of position.

Golden misses too many of his assignments and needs to do a better job putting himself in a position to make plays. He is an intriguing prospect because of his versatile staring experience and foot speed, but he looks best at free safety, where he can face the action and drive better on the ball. Golden is a better run defender than cover guy at this point and looks like an early third-day prospect.


Strengths: Very good athleticism and flexibility with plus speed for the position. He shows a second gear with good recovery speed to make up for missed plays. Attacks the ball with authority with quick read/react ability. He is a willing and physical tackler, showing very good toughness and aggressive nature vs. the run. Fills hard in run support. He is a versatile player with very good experience at both cornerback and safety and also played on special teams coverage. Golden is always a threat with the ball, returning two of his four career INTs for TDs. He is a vocal leader who exudes confidence on and off the field.

Weaknesses: Average size and bulk for safety and has room to add strength to his frame. He needs to improve his overall instincts and put himself in better position to make plays on the ball. Golden has suspect awareness, taking too many poor angles and often overrunning his assignments. He is overaggressive and too often bites on fakes and misdirection, forcing himself to be late to the action because of false steps. Needs to play will more discipline. He has inconsistent tackling technique and does a poor job finishing in space. Suspect ball skills and needs to complete the INT once he gets his hands on the ball. He is too easily blocked and can be eliminated from the play by a single blocker.

NFL Comparison: Eric Frampton, Minnesota Vikings

-- Dane Brugler

2010 Season

Third on club with 60 tackles in 2010 at CB, with a team-high 12 PBUs, an interception and 2.5 TFL … Season high 11 hits against Stanford … Had interception at UCLA to earn coaches POW citation.

2009 Season

13-game starter at strong safety in 2009 after switching to the position from cornerback in spring ball … Had electrifying play with 79-yard interception return for a touchdown two and a half minutes into the victory over Stanford … Return was the seventh-longest INT take-back in school history and longest in 13 seasons … Also had interception and 14-yard return against WSU … 41 total tackles with a season-high nine at Iowa and five against Stanford … Earned coaches' citation for special teams player of the week against Washington.

2008 Season

Earned spurs on special teams in 2008 as redshirt freshman … Saw action in all 13 games, primarily on special teams in 2008, but occasionally in formation role … Had eight tackles on kickoff coverage, second on that unit … Finished with 12 tackles for the regular season … One of Arizona's top recruits in the 2008 class … '08 game-highs: 2 tackles vs. Idaho, UCLA and Stanford.

2007 Season



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