BIOGRAPHY: Two-year starter who led Miami in tackles last season with 100. Also added one interception and broke up three passes. Junior-year totals included 41 tackles after 83 as a sophomore. Has a history of injuries including a dislocated left shoulder, which put him on the sidelines in 2005.
POSITIVES: Athletic linebacker who plays with a large degree of explosion. Reads the action, quickly changes direction, and effective in pursuit. Fluid turning his hips in coverage, covers a lot of area on the field, and gets depth on pass drops. Aggressive, fires up the field in run defense, and wraps up when tackling. Chases hard to get involved in the action and make positive plays. Effectively uses his hands to protect himself.
NEGATIVES: Marginally instinctive in coverage and rarely gets his head back around to locate the ball. Slow through the trash and struggles taking on blocks.
ANALYSIS: Gooden is a pass-flowing linebacker with the ability to make plays all over the field. His previous injuries could cause teams to red flag him, but Gooden does offer a degree of upside should he stay healthy.