As we head toward April of 2013 and the NFL Draft, Warchant will take a look at the notable seniors (or draft-declared underclassmen) who train their eye toward the professional ranks. As the process moves along, these stock reports will feature updates. Next up in this series, Everett Dawkins.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Weight: 304 pounds.
2012 Stats: 13 games played, 26 tackles (14 solo), 1.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks.
Career Stats: 56 games played, 88.5 tackles (59 solo), 15 tackles for loss, 7 sacks.
NFL Draft projections: CBS Sports - No. 12 DT, NFL Draft Scout - No. 7 DT.
Everett Dawkins has been a mainstay up front for the Seminole defense, starting 40 games in his four-plus seasons in Tallahassee. The defensive tackle is one of the few remaining figures that played through the transition from the Bobby Bowden to Jimbo Fisher Era. As is always the case with interior defensive linemen, there is difficulty in evaluations because stats hardly tell how successful a lineman is in terms of affecting the play.
Dawkins plays the role of a traditional 4-3 defensive tackle, meaning he is lined up on the outside shoulder of the guard across from him (three-technique). Though he has been a big part of the Seminole defense's success against the run, there were times over the past few seasons that he and fellow starter Anthony McCloud could be moved off the ball. Dawkins' Senior Bowl appearance will go a long way in terms of scouting and coaching projections moving forward.
Dawkins is a capable interior lineman that can clog and neutralize running lanes. Lateral speed and agility are above average for the position. He also has upside in terms of being able to rush the passer.
Dawkins and his linemates this year did not affect the pocket or make as many plays in the opponents' backfield as expected. There were sequences in games against the likes of USF, Miami and others in which the starting defensive interior was pushed off the ball as well.
Where does he fit in the NFL?
Across the board, scouts are projecting Dawkins as a rotational interior defensive lineman. While that role does not include starters reps, it is considered vitally important if a team is to succeed against pass and run over 16-game and (potentially) playoff seasons. Dawkins has been tied to the Carolina Panthers by ESPN's Scouts Inc. because of the Panthers' glaring need at the position.
Over the next three months, he'll look to show/improve
Dawkins needs to show scouts that he can be physical enough not just to hold the point of attack, but win that point too. If he shows that level of physicality in Senior Bowl workouts, it's possible he could climb into the top five or six at his position. Barring a bad Senior Bowl week and underwhelming combine numbers, Dawkins should be drafted and have a fair opportunity to prove himself at the next level.
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