David Paulson: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of NFL Draft Prospect's Game

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IApril 20, 2012

David Paulson: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of NFL Draft Prospect's Game

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    David Paulson is an interesting prospect because from looking at him, you wouldn't get the impression of an athletic, pass-catching tight end.

    But that is exactly where Paulson shines on the football field.

    He is a consistent weapon in the passing game who has been known to make some outstanding catches from time to time. He didn't post eye-popping receiving numbers during his time at Oregon, but he was an ideal fit for that offense, being more than capable of making catches and moving the chains when called upon.

    But not everything is perfect in Paulson's game. He does have several weak points where he can often be exposed out on the field as well.

    Let's go ahead and break down six strengths and weaknesses of David Paulson's game.

    Bleacher Report Style!

STRENGTH: Red Zone Weapon

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    David Paulson isn't a big-play guy by any means. He is most known for being a mid-range reliable pass-catcher who can move the chains when called upon.

    While Paulson doesn't have many big-yardage plays, he is certainly a threat when his team gets into the red zone.

    If you look at his stat line from last season, Paulson had more touchdown receptions (six) than he did 20-plus yard receptions (four) last season. In fact, there was a streak from Weeks 4-9 last season where Paulson had 12 catches, four of which were touchdown receptions.

    Oregon knew how to properly utilize Paulson's 6'4" frame and hopefully, for his sake, an NFL team will figure that out as well, in the near future.

WEAKNESS: Lack's Ideal Speed

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    David Paulson is a reliable pass-catcher, but don't count on him to blow past any defenders.

    Paulson ran a 4.93 40-yard dash time at this year's NFL Combine. Had he ran a better time, he would have likely worked his way into the middle rounds, but because of his lack of speed, Paulson will likely be a late round draft selection.

    The problem here is that, because of his lack of speed, he will likely have trouble getting open against faster, more agile linebackers at the NFL level. This is something he will have to improve on in the near future.

STRENGTH: Quality Blocker

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    In addition to his solid pass-catching abilities, Paulson is also a capable blocker, which he was asked to do quite a bit in Oregon's run first offense last season.

    Paulson helped pave the way for running back LaMichael James, who was one of the top college running backs in the nation over the past three seasons.

    Paulson doesn't have exceptional strength by any means, which is something that he will have to add if he is going to be an every-down tight end in the NFL. But once he hits an NFL weight room, that should come with time and only help improve his blocking skills in the future.

WEAKNESS: Scheme Player

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    What do I mean when I say "scheme player."

    Oregon's offense is very unique and not one that you will often see at the NFL level.

    In Paulson's case, he was asked to do a lot of chip-blocking and using his body to wall off defenders. The point here is that Paulson's skill set was utilized in Oregon's offensive scheme, which, as mentioned before, is a very unique one.

    He will have to get used to a NFL-caliber offensive system before he can make an impact at the next level of play.

STRENGTH: Extremely Bright Individual

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    There aren't many brighter players in this year's draft class than Oregon's David Paulson.

    This highly-intelligent individual was honored as a Pac-12 all-academic first team selection in each of the past three seasons at Oregon.

    Paulson sported a 3.68 GPA in business administration at Oregon.

    He also uses his intelligence out on the football field—which should make learning a new offensive system all that much easier for this smart cookie.

WEAKNESS: Tends to Fade Away in Big Games

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    Perhaps this is because Oregon's offense operates differently in big games, but Paulson's stat-line shows that his production tends to fade in big games.

    Playing in the Pac 12, Oregon is the creme of the crop, along with Stanford and USC. But when the Ducks went up against the Cardinal and Trojans, Paulson combined for just three catches for 48 yards and no scores. In fact, he didn't record a single catch in the Ducks' memorable 53-50 win over Stanford this past season.

    Oregon also opened the season against LSU and closed it out against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. In those two games, Paulson combined for just four catches for 31 yards and no scores.

    Again, maybe this is because he simply wasn't looked at in the passing game, but hopefully, for his sake, this doesn't becoming an ongoing trend in his game.