Zaviar Gooden   LB   Missouri




Zaviar has solid athletic talent to play as a weakside outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. He has terrific speed and his workout numbers are at the top of this linebacker class.  His straight line speed is excellent and his ability to drop in coverage is on par with the other linebackers in this draft.  He plays well within the concept of the defensive game plan and has played both inside and outside linebacker positions for his college team.  Zaviar looks to be a solid teammate.  Because of his athletic ability, Zaviar is behind in his football intelligence, but he has room to grow athletically and mentally for the team that selects him in this draft. Zaviar has the size-speed ratio you look for in a developmental linebacker.   



Right now, Zaviar is very inconsistent.  He makes one or two good plays a game that make you notice him on film, but he struggles to put a full consistent game together.  Mentally he seems confused and hesitant, which you would not expect from a player who has played as many snaps as he has played for his college team.  Physically, he needs to gain a lot more strength to tackle at the next level.  He is drag down tackler but with his strength ratio, he will struggle in the NFL.  He has the athletic talent to be a cover linebacker, but has trouble anticipating routes that receivers would run in certain down and distance situations.  He lacks the quick change of direction skills to be used as a blitzing linebacker and seems content when blitzing to just run up the field and flush the quarterback out of the pocket instead of tackling him. 



Zaviar has the athletic talent to play at the next level, but right now he lacks the strength and football intelligence to be more than a situational linebacker.  Zaviar does flash on film; however, with his talent, you would expect more than just an occasional flash (at least I do).  You never know, though…linebackers are a tough group to profile.  If they are in the right system, they can much more productive than they were in college (so I’m told).   My bottom line on Zaviar?  I’m the type of person that believes that the information about a player eligible for the draft should contain more than “you never know” at the end of the profile before I would be willing to select them.  But that’s just me.


Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart