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Scouting The Draft, Eric Norwood, South Carolina, OLB

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People have been asking for more reports on OLB, so ask and you shall receive. I'm not really sure where Norwood's stock sits at the minute, he has great production at the college level, but his vitals won't enamour himself with many scouts or coaches. He stands at just 6'1, although he has good bulk at 252lb's. I have seen his stock sit anywhere from mid 2nd, to mid 3rd. So it depends how you want to view our selection, I wouldn't take Norwood under any circumstances at 29, but if trading back, he might be an option, or even just an option at 29 in the 2nd round.

Would he fit in with Rex and the Jets? I'm not so sure, he interviewed with the Patriots at the Senior Bowl, and this is what he had to say post interview:

"It was a lot of board work, but I know my stuff," Norwood said. "I left thinking it was a good meeting, and I think I’d fit great in there, the type of team they have, type of structure they have. Their players don’t have an ego, I don’t have an ego. I think I’d fit in perfect."

Ego/'s a fine line.

Career Stats

2006- 13 GP, 30 TKL, 9.0 TFL, 7 Sacks, 1 PBU, 0 INT

2007- 12 GP, 69 TKL, 19.5 TFL, 6.0 Sacks, 3 PBU, 0 INT

2008- 13 GP, 75 TKL, 14.5 TFL, 9.0 Sacks, 1 PBU, 0 INT

2009- 13 GP, 81 TKL, 11.5 TFL, 7.0 Sacks, 3 PBU, 2 INT

Career Achievements & Awards

2007 First Team All SEC selection

2008 First Team All SEC selection

2009 First Team All SEC selectio

2009 First Team All-American (AP, Walter Camp)

2009 Elite performer, Linebacker Trophy College Football Performance Awards

More after the jump:

What does Eric Norwood Do Well?

Putt quite simply the guy is a play maker. He excels in rushing the passer, he is an above average tackler who wraps up his players. He takes very good angles to the ball when defending the run, and has nice lateral movement to move down the line. Also shows ability to get off blocks using his hands. Doesn't have the best straight line speed but shows a consistent burst off the snap, standing or in the 3 point, also shows closing speed consistently, understands that with his smaller stature he needs to play with good leverage, and he does this effectively. Plays very loose, and is a team leader on the field. Not the most vocal player, but he leads my example. Shows a lot of toughness and can deliver a big hit. Very good motor.

What does Eric Norwood  need to work on?

Not something he can work on but his size is hurting his stock, was going to enter the 2009 NFL draft, but after he submitted his application to the draft advisory board, and they returned a 4-7th round grade on him he decided to return for his senior season. Doesn't have the greatest speed, 4.65-4.70 40 yard time, if a back gets into the open field he will have trouble tracking him down. Played a very free role at South Carolina, not sure how he will adapt to a more strict scheme with gap assignments. Athleticism is questionable, doesn't have a great back pedal, and could have problems in coverage against quicker sharper backs.Can be too aggressive and over pursue the ball.

Final word

Norwood looks like a decent player, but could he be a Jets player? I think he needs more work on the finer points of the game, could come in as a pass rush specialist and just disrupt the pocket. I know I often say that intangibles are overrated, but 6'1 and pretty slow doesn't fill me with the most confidence. If we are looking for an OLB and he is sitting there at our selection in the 2nd round, I might be tempted to take a whirl on him, but just don't see him as a Jet. Like he said himself, he would fit in with the Patriots.His production in the SEC can't be ignored and he showed consistency, was a DE and moved to OLB in 2008.

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