Dawson Deaton NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Cleveland Browns' IOLApril 30, 2022
HEIGHT: 6'5 1/2"
HAND: 9 5/8"
ARM: 32 7/8"
WINGSPAN: 6'7 1/2"
40-YARD DASH: 5.12
— Above-average initial and lateral quickness.
— Meets contact with a wide base and tight, quick hand placement.
— Creates space out of his stance in pass protection, smoothly redirects and mirrors.
— Does a nice job being light on his hands so he can quickly reset and stay in the fight when his hands get swiped or chopped.
— Capable of bracing, generating force through the in-steps of his feet and throttling down to gradually dissipate the bull rush.
— High-cut build with a long, lean lower half.
— Struggles maintaining his posture and balance against the push-pull and violent shed attempts from interior linemen.
— Doesn't adjust well to gap exchanges and immediate post-snap movement across his face; often late and behind with his hands, which results in penetration.
— More of a position blocker in the run game with middling power to create movement on his own.
- 11 starts at C.
- Team captain
— Former 3-star interior offensive line recruit out of Frisco High School in Frisco, Texas.
— Two-time team captain, second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2020 and 2021 and four-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection.
— 35 career starts; 33 at center, one at left tackle and one at left guard.
— Invited and accepted his invite to the 2022 Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas.
Dawson Deaton was a three-year starter at Texas Tech with 35 career starts, predominantly at center. He made 11 starts at the pivot during the 2021 season in the Red Raiders' spread, RPO-heavy zone-run scheme.
Deaton has a tackle type of frame and is high-cut with a long, lean lower half. He excels using his above-average initial and lateral quickness to pop out of his stance to landmarks quickly, and he has the ability to mirror shifty rushers in pass protection.
Deaton plays in a wide stance and with a strong base on contact, using a tight, firm punch on contact to create quick leverage on defenders. He stays light on his hands and can recover when they initially get knocked down, resulting in flashes of impressive recovery balance. He's also capable of maintaining a wide base in his anchor while bracing and generating enough force through the ground to gradually walk back and slow down the bull rush.
Deaton's high-cut build and subpar power cause his pads to rise quickly against stout interior run defenders aligned over the top of him in odd fronts, and he struggles to maintain his posture and balance against the push-pull technique and violent shed attempts. He also needs to process immediate post-snap movement across his face against gap exchanges more quickly to prevent quick penetration.
Overall, Deaton has above-average athletic ability and hand-fighting skills in pass protection to mirror and stay attached to shifty rushers. However, he tends to play too high with minimal power, which causes him to fall off of too many blocks against stout run defenders. Deaton offers upside as a backup in a zone-heavy run scheme, but his lack of consistent balance with no positional or scheme versatility boxes him into needing the perfect situation to stick on a roster long-term.
GRADE: 5.7 (Round 7 - Backup/Draftable)
OVERALL RANK: 263
POSITION RANK: IOL30
PRO COMPARISON: Austin Reiter
Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn