Seventh Round: 229th Pick
Everett Dawkins played along a star-studded defensive line at Florida State. Defensive ends Cornellius Carradine and Bjoern Werner are likely first-round picks in the 2013 NFL draft, and fellow end Brandon Jenkins is another draftable prospect.
Is Dawkins also one of the big names to grace this talented unit, or is he just a by-product of the talent that surrounded him?
Dawkins possesses an explosive first step and the quickness to compensate it. Often, his first step alone will help him past offensive linemen, and his side-to-side ability only helps him blow past guards. He is a frequent presence in the backfield and is capable of making impact plays on a regular basis. He frequently utilizes a number of moves in his efforts to penetrate the backfield.
Dawkins' overall technique is solid, and he could conceivably contribute as a rookie.
At just 6'2", 292 pounds, Dawkins isn't big, and he lacks great strength.
At times, Dawkins will be easily driven off the ball, and he can be a liability against the run. His tendency to play too high doesn't help this, as he easily surrenders leverage. He also struggles to get off blocks, and despite being in position to make a play, Dawkins will sometimes come up empty. Dawkins will also ignore gap control and take himself completely out of a play.
Physically, Dawkins is nothing incredible. His 6'2", 292-pound frame is undersized, and his 33" arms are merely average. However, Dawkins is a solid athlete with explosive ability and quickness. His straight-line speed is also above average for a defensive tackle.
Dawkins was a captain for Florida State as a senior, and he has never been in trouble off the field. He gets high marks for an impressive motor and seemingly solid work ethic.
There is limited information available here, but there are no complaints about what is publicly known.
In Florida State's 4-3 defense, Dawkins typically lined up as the team's 3-technique. He would occasionally play the 1-technique, though. When the Seminoles went with a three-man defensive line in nickel situations, Dawkins would sometimes kick outside to defensive end.
With just 2.5 sacks over the past two seasons, Dawkins doesn't seem like much of a pass-rusher, though. The numbers, in this case, don't tell the whole story, however.
Dawkins consistently demonstrates the ability to rush the passer from the inside. His first step is well above average for a defensive tackle, and his side-to-side movement only adds to his potential there.
Dawkins' pass rush isn't based purely around his natural athleticism, though. He also shows solid spin and swim moves that he uses to get around offensive linemen. When Dawkins has some momentum behind him, he can also bull rush a lineman into the backfield, though that is more rare.
Against the Run
The same traits that serve Dawkins as a pass-rusher also help him against the run.
He is quick and explosive, so he is able to get past and around offensive linemen on his way into the backfield. However, Dawkins has considerably more flaws in this part of his game.
Dawkins' high stance and lack of strength both hinder him. These two weaknesses allow linemen to more easily blow Dawkins off the ball, paving room for the running back.
At times, Dawkins' explosiveness and relentless attitude work against him, as he overpursues or abandons his gap. There are far too many times when Dawkins works himself out of a play by penetrating too far or too quickly. This can be just as devastating as his lack of power.
Dawkins' ability to shred blocks is also a concern. He isn't quite strong enough to easily rip away from defenders.
Dawkins rarely has any issues tackling. He doesn't try to arm tackle, instead choosing to wrap up the defender and bring him down with his entire body. Dawkins' size as a defensive tackle is obviously advantageous here.
Use of Hands
His hands aren't necessarily strong, but they are often active. In fact, Dawkins' best plays can usually be attributed to his use of hands. He shows a strong swim move that allows him to work past offensive linemen, and his frequent hand movement is his best option in working off blocks.
Scheme Versatility/Future Role
Dawkins could conceivably play 3-technique in a 4-3 defense or 5-technique in a 3-4 scheme. His best fit, though, is probably in a 4-3, where he can penetrate the backfield and rush the passer with less attention paid to holding strong against the run and working off blockers.
It's likely that a team running an aggressive 4-3 defense will place much higher value on Dawkins than any other team would.
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