Arizona State Senior
PROS: A smart and disciplined player that has good size and decent speed. Capable drag-down tackler that can make the stop in space or at the point of attack. Is comfortable working in coverage.
CONS: Tackles too high at times. Not an impact defender when he is working in coverage.
OVERVIEW: A three-year starter on the strongside, his production dipped a bit as a senior, where he had only 57 tackles after two 71-tackle seasons. But combined for 17.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 3 picks in those three years.
NFL FORECAST: Goethel is a nice college player that doesn't excel anywhere, but doesn't struggle anywhere either. He can play in coverage at the next level, although he doesn't have the ideal speed and athleticism to be an impact player. But he can stick with tight ends and backs, and shows a nice feel for zone coverage. He doesn't make a ton of mistakes, but not a ton of plays either. He could also be moved inside in a 3-4 scheme, which may hide some of his flaws in coverage more. His problem mainly is going to be he is not as physical as you want in a starter, and doesn't have the speed, range, or coverage potential to off-set that. So while he could be a decent starter down the road, he's not a player teams will want to start. Instead, he'll earn his paycheck on special teams. Again, he can play in either the 3-4 or 4-3, but is really limited to backup duty.
ATL FORECAST: Goethel could compete for reps as the SAM guy behind Nicholas against Adkins. But will have a hard time winning such a battle, because Adkins is a faster, rangier, and much more athletic player. Also Adkins shows ability as a pass rusher that Goethel does not. He just isn't as aggressive or physical as the Falcons apparently want in that position. He might be better off playing the MIKE and pushing Gilbert who has a more tenuous hold on his roster spot. But he wouldn't be a better backup behind Lofton than Gilbert is today, just younger.
VALUE: Goethel might merit a late seventh round pick for a team that loves his special teams potential, but his lack of upside means that I'd rather get him on the free agent market.
Scouting reports of outside and inside linebackers in the 2010 draft.
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