Pros: He is a passionate player that has good instincts and recognition and usually in position to make plays. Does a good job at the point of attack. Not afraid to take on blockers and does a nice job shedding guys. Can fill hole and meet ball-carrier and make stop. Shows some ability as a blitzer up the middle. Works well in zone coverage, keeping things in front of him, and able to make the read and play on the ball.
Cons: Lacks speed and athleticism to make plays in space. Not going to do a lot in pursuit and won't make plays sideline to sideline. Can get stuck in traffic at times taking on blockers. Will struggle in man coverage.
Overview: He's not slow, but he doesn't have the range to make plays outside the hashmarks on a consistent basis. He is a very productive player that combined for 336 tackles the past three seasons and had 6 picks as a junior. He seemed to make a big play in almost every game I saw of Baylor the past two years.
NFL Forecast: Pawelek would work best in a 3-4 scheme as an inside linebacker. That way, he won't have to deal as much with making plays sideline to sideline. He'd also work best in a scheme where he'll be limited to mainly zone coverage, as he just lacks the hips, and burst to be a factor in man coverage. He's a drag-down tackler that is sound, but won't make any big hits. He's just an active player. He's basically like a slower version of Keith Brooking and his speed is comparable to the later years of Brooking. And I think like Brooking he'll have a long productive career, but just won't be a big playmaker. He's the type of guy that if you team with other good, more athletic linebackers, he'll work well. I have no doubts that Pawelek will develop into a starter and probably because one of the leaders on a defense. I'm just not sure how much he'll enhance a defense. He'll do his job very well, and I look at him as a player like Brooking or Paul Posluszny. On a bad defense, he'll have good production and be one of their better players, but he's not the piece you want to take that defense to another level. THat defense will have to rely on getting more talent around him before it starts to improve. But on a team that already has good pieces around him, he can be a final piece to the puzzle because of his smarts and consistency.
ATL Forecast: Pawelek is not a good fit in Atlanta because he isn't the rangy, speedy outside linebacker they are looking for. He would be a nice fit in the middle, but he's not a better player than Curtis Lofton. He'd make one of the best backup middle linebackers in the league, and could be nice trade bait down the road, but his abilities would be fairly wasted in Atlanta.
Value: He'll have a long productive career as a starter, but because he isn't a guy that will be a playmaker, teams are probably better off waiting until the third round to pick him.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 4.0
PASS RUSH: 2.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.