Draft Profile: LB Eric Norwood

NAME – Eric Norwood.

Position – Outside Linebacker, but could move inside.

College – South Carolina.

Status – Senior, earned his degree in criminal justice.

Size/Weight – 6-0 7/8, 245 pounds.

Important numbers – 4.74 in 40-yard dash, 36.5 inches in vertical jump, 9-feet 7 inches in broad jump.

Age – 22 in late May

Honors – Three- time first-team All-SEC; first Gamecock to achieve that honor … team captain as a senior … school’s all-time leader in sacks.

College career – Highly recruited out of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, Norwood began his career with South Carolina as a defensive end, eventually moving to outside linebacker for his final two seasons. He tied NCAA record in ’07 by returning two fumbles for touchdowns in the same game, from two and then 53 yards out.

Stats of note – 51 games/38 starts … 255 total tackles … 54.5 tackles for loss … 29 sacks … 2 INTs … 3 blocked kicks.

STRENGTHS – Very quick off the corner, with a good burst to the quarterback … has a bit of a squatty build which allows him to gain leverage as a pass rusher … plays hard from first snap to last snap, seldom varying his intensity.

WEAKNESSES – Size-wise Norwood is a tweener, who isn’t big enough to play defensive end in the 3-4 … at OLB, he’s never done much in the way of dropping into coverage … sometimes misses tackles because he’s going for the kill shot with his head down.

THE RIGHT 53? – High intensity defender who was a leader on his team on and off the field … earned a degree in criminal justice in 3.5 years and is the first of his family to graduate from college … did not miss a game because of injury … has extensive special teams experience, participating in the No. 1 units on punt, punt return and field goal block.

What he said – “I’m that guy you can count on. I’m that guy you don’t have to take off the field on fourth down because I’ll be on the punt team. You can keep me on the field for kickoff and kickoff return. I’m always available.”

End game – He’s not an elite physical specimen, but he’s always made things happen on the field. A concern might be that he’s as good as he’ll ever be, and that will push him down in the draft order. It’s unlikely he’s rated high enough to go in the first 50 picks, but he would be a good grab at the top of the third round. His strengths come on the edge, so moving him inside may not be the way to go, but he’s displayed enough intelligence and football savy to make the move.

ON THE CHIEFS LIST? – If not, he should be.

One Response to “Draft Profile: LB Eric Norwood”

  • April 2, 2010  - Tracy says:

    Sounds like he might be a Pioli/Haley type of player.
    It might be interesting to look at the kind of remarks people were making about somebody like Mike Vrable after his senior season. Was the sentiment about him similar to what people think about Eric Norwood?

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