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14 Days to the Draft: Northwestern DE, Corey Wootton

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

Northwestern's Corey Wootton has been a name thrown about when discussing potential 3-4 defensive ends. Wootton measures 6-6, 270 lbs. He has the height, but definitely not the weight to play DE on our team. He isn't a strong pass rusher, but has the strength to take on the run (but not the strength to shed double teams). He was injured recently, which makes him a big question mark. He didn't have the backfield penetration to be a successful 4-3 DE, which is why he's projected to be a 3-4 DE- I just don't see him doing well in the 3-4 either.

His measurements and some quotes after the jump. Scouting

Height: 6-6. Weight: 272.
Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
Pro Day 40 Time: 4.92.
Benchx225: 20. Vertical: 32.

Summary: I personally was not able to watch Wootton's junior tape, which I think is critical to the evaluation considering he was fully healthy that year as opposed to his 2009 season coming off his ACL tear. He might have lost some speed and agility. He profiles as a 4-3 left defensive end or a 3-4 5-technique defensive end. Wootton is projected to come off the board in the first three rounds, but I don't expect him to be much of a pass rusher in the NFL. Scouting

04/02/2010 - PRO DAY RESULTS: DE Corey Wootton (6-6, 272) ran 4.92 and 4.97 in the 40, had a 32-inch vertical jump, 9-foot broad jump, a 4.28 short shuttle, and a 7.00 three-cone drill. He stood on his bench press numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine. - Gil Brandt,

03/29/2010 - Defensive end Corey Wootton, who struggled last season while coming back from the serious knee injury he had suffered in the '08 Alamo Bowl. He had skipped the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and an earlier Pro Day on campus and so this was his first chance to impress. "It was a nerve-wracking day, definitely," he said when it was finally over. "I didn't do the Combine, I didn't do the last Pro Day. So it was all on the line today and I thought I did a pretty good job there. I wish I could have run a little bit better. But, you know. I was looking forward to today and I thought I did a pretty good job." What did he run in the 40? "In the 4.8s. It was about in the range I expected. I expected it to be in the 4.7s. But things happen and you've just got to make the best of it." Has he heard anything about his draft status? "No, not really. They talk about schemes and where they think I would fit, but nothing about round predictions." Where do they think he would fit? "Some teams want me to be a five technique in a 3-4 defense. You line up over a tackle, you're an end in the 3-4 scheme. Then some people think I could play a rush linebacker. I was doing some linebacker drills there." (He guarded Andrew Brewer as Mike Kafka threw lame ducks that Wootton could pick off. This was a way for the observers to check out his hands and he dropped just one of the some dozen balls thrown his way.) Had he done that before? "We've done stuff like that, dropping (off the line) from down in a stance. It's something I like to do." - Skip Myslenski,

03/12/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT DEFENSIVE ENDS: Corey Wootton: Northwestern, 6-6, 280, 1-2: Wootton is a comeback kid who enters the draft a year later than expected after a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 2008 season's Alamo Bowl made it necessary to stay in college one more year. He improved each week in 2009 and emerged as a potential first-round pick. He finished the season with 21 tackles (six for a loss) and four sacks. Wootton has a long torso and long arms and seems too lean to have the strength that he demonstrates with his surprising bull rush. He showed enough agility and athleticism to be used in short zone coverage and had four career interceptions. Wootton made an earlier comeback from a neck injury in 2005 to make the All Big-Ten team as a redshirt freshman in 2006. Coaches love his work ethic, and teammates voted him MVP in 2008. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, Sports/USA TODAY Scouting

Corey is an outstanding combination of size and strength for the position. His production is down from previous seasons and much of that can be attributed to a knee injury sustained in the Alamo Bowl at the end of last season. He is a decent athlete but not an explosive player off the edge. His lateral agility and change of direction hinders his playmaking ability in space. Corey does defend the run well and can anchor effectively to hold the point. He utilizes quick hands and long arms to control blockers but needs to expand his pass rush package to be effective at the next level. Wootton's measurables, instincts and toughness makes him an interesting prospect for most defensive fronts. He wasn't nearly as effective as previous seasons and knee concerns will be closely scrutinized going into the 2010 Draft.


Wootton is big and has a great amount of power for the defensive end spot. He excels in run defense using his long arms and toughness to disengage from blockers and make plays. Shows good instincts and intelligence when diagnosing at the line of scrimmage. Had some impressive previous production earlier in career.
Wootton only possesses average athleticism and isn't comfortable playing in space. Doesn't show the range to make plays away from him in the running game or the edge quickness to consistently get to the quarterback. Has some durability concerns (previous season ending neck injury, major knee injury).

Verdict: I disagree with the assessment that Wootton is a good fit for the Patriots. He lacks 30+ pounds necessary to be a big player on our defensive line. If he wanted to take the Jarvis Green role, he'd still have to add 15-20 pounds, regardless of his lack of pass rush skills. He doesn't fit our defense and shouldn't be a pick.