Matt LaPan

Top Prospects Of The American Athletic Conference

May 18, 2013 6:35 AM EST

Yawin Smallwood, LB, Connecticut

6-3, 244 pounds

2012 season: 120 tackles, 4 sacks, 15 TFL, 2 FF, 1 FR

One year after UConn sent Sio Moore to the Raiders in the NFL Draft, expect the Huskies to send another linebacker to the NFL this season.

Smallwood is a tackling machine with great sideline-to-sideline speed. Last season, Smallwood was considered the class of the Big East at linebacker, and a change in the conference name should not change that. Smallwood has a nose for the ball, finding and attacking running lanes early. He also has good coverage ability and has shown the ability to get to the passer on pass-rushing downs. 

Smallwood played a huge role in containing Teddy Bridgewater in the Huskies' huge upset in 2012.. Smallwood is a true three-down player at the next level. With another good season, he could see his stock skyrocket.