Tavares Gooden Scouting Report
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NFL Draft > 2008 Prospects > OLB > Tavares Gooden

Tavares Gooden Scouting Report

Position: OLB
Conference: ACC
School: Miami Hurricanes
Year/Status: Drafted
Jersey Number: #52
Height & Weight: 6'2 - 238 lbs.
Drafted 3.8 in 2008 by BAL

2008 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:
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Tavares Gooden, OLB, Miami

Linebacker Tavares Gooden is a great athlete, but it is his experience that separates him from the rest. In 2003, Gooden made his mark on special teams. In 2004, he spent most of the season starting at the weakside linebacker spot and he moved to the strong side in 2005. He missed most of that year with a dislocated left shoulder, but he started to show his potential as a junior and solidified his leadership of the linebacker corps during his senior campaign. During his senior season, Gooden led the team with 100 tackles. However, he had just three tackles for loss. The former track star will have little problem chasing down the opposition in the NFL laterally, but he will need to find more balance between speed and strength if his new team wants him to be able to shed blockers and get into the backfield. You cannot teach speed and somebody will take a look at his quickness and experience and take Gooden during the first day of the draft. At the very least, Gooden is a quality special teams player in the NFL; he is smart enough and experienced enough to get some quality snaps at linebacker as a rookie as well. 2/28 Update: Tavares Gooden proved what we all knew heading into the Combine: that he is a great athlete. How teams grade his intangibles and ability to gain strength will probably be the difference between a first and second day selection for Gooden. 3/21 Update: Nobody at the Miami Pro Day helped themselves more than Tavares Gooden. The Combine was good, but the Pro Day was great. Gooden increased his speed and his vertical and pretty much turned eyes away from Kenny Phillips and Calais Campbell. His versatility at the linebacker position was a plus, but he has started to prove that he can play any linebacker position in the NFL as well. Gooden might have just snuck into the second round. 4/11 Update: Tavares Gooden continues to have the possibility of sneaking into the Second Round of the NFL Draft. He has been more impressive during the Combine and Pro Days than most other ACC linebackers, including Xavier Adibi of Virginia Tech, Philip Wheeler of Georgia Tech and Geno Hayes of Florida State and those will be some of his main positional competitors on draft day. Gooden's experience and ability to play multiple linebacker positions could be the main factor if he does indeed get selected before his conference counterparts.

Last Updated Apr-11-2008 by Joel Welser

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