NFL Draft Profile: Yawin Smallwood

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn's Defensive MVP declared for the NFL Draft after his Junior season. His stock has slipped a little, but he definitely has potential to be an impact player in the pros.

Consider Yawin Smallwood one of the casualties of the NFL Draft 'paralysis by analysis'. He currently sits at #197 on Todd McShay's Big Board.

Considered a Top-100 prospect at the end of football season, the three year starter did nothing but produce and collect Big East/American accolades while establishing himself against the best competition UConn's schedule had to offer. Additionally, he displayed the positive character traits and versatility that should make him a valuable commodity at the next level.

Unfortunately, Smallwood pulled his hamstring while running the 40-yard dash at the Combine and his stock started falling. His injury forced him to limit his workouts, he didn't even run at his Pro Day. Then people started re-watching his game film and saw what they wanted to see regarding his 'football speed' and ability to cover. His stock slipped and those with good workouts started to pass him.

On film, Smallwood has shown all the traits necessary to succeed. He has good size, was a productive tackler and a disruptive defender who played intelligently. He can blitz, defend the run, drop into coverage and is versatile enough to play inside in a 3-4 or outside in a 4-3.

Smallwood's draft stock falling will be a blessing for whichever NFL team is smart enough to take him. It may not be tonight in rounds 2-3 at which point he definitely would qualify as a mid-round sleeper. The stink from UConn's Paul Pasqualoni era probably hasn't helped his cause. All it takes, though, is for one team to fall in love with him so he could hear his name called tonight. By his play on the field, I think he deserves to.

Some of our SB Nation NFL counterparts have put together pretty detailed scouting reports or profiles of Yawin Smallwood. I've collected them so you can see what others are saying. Smallwood worked out with the Falcons during the pre-draft process and Falcoholic's profile was quite thorough.

The Falcoholic

Big Blue View (New York Giants)

Bleeding Green Nation (Philadelphia Eagles)


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