Gooden, at 6’2” and 234 lbs, would project as an outside linebacker in the Patriots’ 4-3 scheme, likely on the weak side. Most current draft projections have him going late day two or early day three, somewhere in the third to fourth round range.
Gooden is an intriguing prospect because of his measurable. He’s not a stack and shed thumper, but rather an athletic specimen with a lot of room to grow. He had a strong Senior Bowl, and very impressive combine numbers. Gooden ran an official 4.46, with a 1.52 10-yard split, 10’11” broad jump, 27 bench press reps, a 4.18 20 yard shuttle, and a 6.71 3-cone drill.
Those workout numbers suggest strength, explosion, and fluidity. Gooden, however, is a bit raw and his football ability has been questioned. He was exposed in coverage at times at Missouri. While he definitely has the athletic ability to stick with tight ends and backs, he hasn’t been consistent in that area. However, with such a high ceiling, and the need for an athletic linebacker, he could be an intriguing mid-round option for New England.