Biography: Four-year starter awarded All-Conference honors as a junior. Totals last season included 20/6/4 after 42/16/10 as a junior. Posted a career-best 51 tackles a freshman. Suffered a serious knee injury during the 2008 Alamo Bowl then underwent surgery on January 15th 2009.
Positives: Large, athletic defensive end who displays the ability to take over games. Plays with good lean, quickly changes direction and makes plays in all areas of the field. Keeps his pads low to the ground, knifes through blocks on the inside, and keeps his feet moving on contact. Solid first-step quickness off the snap and speed up the field. Forces the action, shows power in his game and the ability to push tackles off the ball. Delivers jarring blows and crushing hits on the opponents. Consistently commands double teams. Uses his tall frame and long arms to knock away passes.
Negatives: Slow returning from injury last season and looked a fraction of himself during the first two months of the campaign. Rather easily controlled at the point of attack and did not show the ability to breakthrough blocks.
Analysis: Prior to his injury late in 2008, Wootton was a dominant defensive end and a projected top-10 pick in the draft. His frame and playing style lend most to believe he can big he could be used in a variety of systems and ultimately grow into a two gap end for a 3-4 defense. May need a little time to get back to 100% and still must prove he can play at the level prior to his injury yet has all the underlying skills to be a productive starter in the NFL.
Chuck Rydlewski/Icon SMI
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