We're going through the Bucs' draft picks and a few of their undrafted free agents, providing you with a number of their scouting reports. Today we focus on the Bucs' fifth-round draft pick, linebacker Najee Goode out of West Virginia.
A thick, well built kid with a natural bubble and strong lower half. Is at his best inside the box where he can attack the line of scrimmage, play with leverage and create collisions inside. Showcases good power on contact as a tackler and will stun lineman trying to reach him. However, isn't real sudden/fluid when trying to shed and can be engulfed through contact. Is a solid tackler though and creates a jolt at the point.
Displays only average depth in his drop in coverage, but has a real tough time getting out of his breaks. Routinely is forced to open up his hips and turn his back to the football in order to change gears and doesn't have the foot quickness, fluidity or burst to hold his own in man coverage at the next level. Looks better suited to play in tighter areas where his foot quickness is solid.
Impression: A thick, strong kid with some natural pop as a linear guy. However, looks at best like a reserve only and special teams guy.
Goode fits defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan's fast-flowing defense and has versatility, having played all three linebacker positions. However, he is likely to bring the biggest impact as a core special-teams player.
One of the best things about Najee Goode is his versatility. He seemed to move from one linebacker spot to another his whole time at West Virginia. Wherever the team needed him, he filled the hole. He was also a walk-on at West Virginia. So that just make this story even sweeter. Obviously, he didn't get the same attention as Bruce Irvin. But he was every bit as integral to the success the defense has had the past two years.
What he brings: Not consistent enough as a tackler and takes too many false steps, but has the size and speed to contribute at the next level.Positives -- Good movement skills for his size; plays well against the run, fills gaps quickly and can flow from sideline to sideline... Good football instincts; can diagnose plays quickly and react... Very strong player; has no trouble disengaging from blockers... Solid in coverage, does a good job of staying
Good movement skills for his size; plays well against the run, fills gaps quickly and can flow from sideline to sideline... Good football instincts; can diagnose plays quickly and react... Very strong player; has no trouble disengaging from blockers... Solid in coverage, does a good job of staying with tight ends and gets good depth in zone coverage... Can disrupt tight ends at the line of scrimmage and throw off timing routes... Performed well at the combine, surprised many with a good 4.64-40 and a 35.5" vertical... Solid and consistent production the past two years from one of the better programs in the Big East... Fits as an inside linebacker in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense... Good bloodlines, father John played in the NFL for the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles... Good intangibles; leader of the West Virginia defense.
Negatives -- Speed doesn't translate on the field, doesn't appear to have great quickness or pass rush skills, only had eight career sacks at West Virginia... Struggles as a wrap up tackler and tries too often to go for the big hit rather than wrapping up... A run stuffer with little experience as a blitzing linebacker... Not an overly instinctual player... Hesitates upon ball being snapped, needs to develop a quicker first step... Allows blockers to set up play and then reacts, needs to work on disrupting plays before they fully form.