STRENGTHS - Surrounded by elite defensive ends, Dawkins showed he has the talent to warrant being an early draft pick also. Consistently quick off the ball he is able to get his hands on OL before they can get set with good blocking technique. With strong, violent hands and the flexibility to play with leverage, Dawkins makes it look easy jolting and driving pass blocker backwards and into the QB's lap when he bull rushes. Once he jolts pass blocker initially, he also shows the quickness and agility to beat block with a quick spin move. Despite lacking ideal bulk/weight, Dawkins does an excellent job of taking on OL run block with good hand-use and leverage. He anchors, sheds and makes tackle on inside runs. In addition, he has the playing speed to disengage from OL run block and chase down ball carrier along the LOS in pursuit. .
WEAKNESSES - Under-sized, Dawkins can be engulfed by big OL at times, so despite his good playing strength he will have trouble being as productive against the run when dealing with NFL OL unless he is able to add weight. Despite good initial quickness to get hand son OL first, he has not shown the ability to shoot gap and get backfield penetration, which limits his ability to make plays behind the LOS. With the elite defensive ends Florida State had, Dawkins often faced one on one blocking and must prove he can handle dealing with double team blocks to be successful playing inside in the NFL. Although he shows strength to be effective as a bull rusher and a good spin move to defeat pass blocker, he has no other real pass rush moves and struggles to pressure the QB if his initial move is stopped because he lacks secondary pass rush moves. .
SUMMARY - While evaluating Bjoern Werner and Cornell Carradine, Dawkins impressed with his athleticism, strength and hand-use to consistently make plays. Few under-sized DT's who excel with their playing strength in college are able to maintain their production in the NFL if they do not add weight to handle the bigger, stronger and more athletic offensive linemen. Additionally, while surrounded by such great talent at Florida State, Dawkins was rarely the focus of the opposing offense and just about never faced double teams, so he will have to prove he can be productive when the offense is not focused away from him. Overall, I think I like Dawkins more than most and expect he will be drafted lower than I have him rated. However, if he can add 10 to 15 pounds over the next few seasons I believe he has what it takes to develop into a solid starting DT in a 43 scheme or a DE in a 34 scheme.