Data Scout Notes: 2012: NA...P3rdC/PButkus...2011: NA/PButkus/PNagurski/PBednarik...2010: HMC
Zaviar Gooden/Missouri football Videos
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Gooden is viewed by those close to the program as the Tigers' most unique athlete. The 6-2, 230-pound outside linebacker has reportedly been clocked in the 4.4s and after two solid (if somewhat unspectacular) seasons as the starter, there is a feeling that he may be poised to breakout in a big way as a senior and he was voted a team captain.
Gooden was originally recruited as a safety and redshirted in 2008 playing at this position. He made the move to outside linebacker in 2009 and served as a quality backup, registering 30 tackles, including three for loss, while playing in all 13 games.
Gooden impressed in 2010 during his first season as a starter, recording career-highs in tackles (85), tackles for loss (10) and sacks (three). His numbers slipped slightly this past season (80-eight-one) and he hasn't yet shown a knack for consistently making big plays, which is why he isn't more nationally recognized.
STRENGTHS: At 6-2 and 233 pounds, Gooden possesses a lean, athletic-looking frame and ideal build to play the weak side at the next level. Extremely explosive in a straight line, exhibiting a strong initial burst and elite vertical speed for the position. Has displayed an improved willingness recently to get physical at the line and persist through contact.
Quick to close on his gap against the run and displays adequate flexibility to establish low leverage on contact when engaging blockers. When active with his hands, exhibits quickness and pop to routinely disengage. Fluid drop in coverage and quick hips to turn and run with the tight end or slot receiver vertically.
WEAKNESSES: In coverage, he's still a bit raw, at times flipping his hips in the wrong direction while anticipating routes. First step isn't as explosive coming out of a hip flip/transition. Late to diagnose the run at times. Will take shallow angles on runs to the outside, and will often find himself forced to chase the play down from behind as a result.
Leads with his shoulder and drops his head at times when engaging bigger blockers, and doesn't get his arms extended consistently. Exhibits only marginal lateral fluidity and does struggle at times to break down and make tackles in space. Better in man-coverage than zone right now, as he tends to lock onto the backfield and lose track of receivers in the area.
COMPARES TO: Zach Brown, OLB, Tennessee Titans - Like Brown, Gooden possesses rare speed and explosiveness for his size, but is still learning to utilize it properly on the football field. He does appear further along in the instincts department, however, and is a more consistent tackler than Brown was at North Carolina. Thus, I could see Gooden having similar, if not better first-year success than Brown, after being picked up somewhere between rounds two and four.
Had a solid junior campaign at the WLB spot, starting all 13 games and ranking 3rd on the team with 80 tackles, including a team-best 54 solo stops ... Led all Tigers with nine tackles against Arizona State in week two, all solo ... recorded his first sack of the season, dropping Brock Osweiler for a loss of three yards in the final two minutes ... blocked an Arizona State extra point in the second quarter ... was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against the Sun Devils ... had eight tackles at Oklahoma, seven of which were solo with the other being assisted tackle for loss ... also recorded a pass breakup against the Sooners ... racked up six tackles, including an assisted tackle for loss against Kansas State ... led all Tigers with nine tackles against Oklahoma State ... had 1.5 tackles for loss against the Cowboys, totaling four yards, and also broke up a pass ... had three solo and three assisted tackles against Texas A&M ... had six total tackles at Baylor, including one for a six yard loss ... had six tackles against Texas ... broke up two passes against Texas Tech and had nine total tackles ... finished tied for the team lead with seven tackles and also had an interception, picking off a pass batted at the line by teammate Dominique Hamilton early in the first quarter ... Closed the season with a 6-tackle outing in the Independence Bowl, which included 1.5 TFLs, and an interception for the 2nd-straight game...
Emerged as one of the top playmakers for the Tiger defense, as he led the team with 85 tackles in his first year as a starter, playing on a unit which was one of the most improved defenses in the nation during 2010 ... Was very consistent throughout the season, as he had no less than 5 tackles in every game against FBS competition, and he accounted for 5 turnovers in all, including 2 recovered fumbles, 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble while notching 7.5 tackles for loss and 3 QB sacks in all ... Tied for second on the team with eight tackles in the season opener against Illinois ... Started at linebacker against UI, his first career start ... Made five tackles in the win over San Diego State ... Had seven stops against Miami (Ohio) ... Also had a fumble recovery against the RedHawks ... Made eight tackles against Colorado ... Included in the eight tackles was two TFLs and one sack ... Added a pass break-up against CU ... Tied for the team lead with an eight-tackle performance against Texas A&M ... Made his first career interception against Oklahoma ... The INT came in the fourth quarter, helping MU put away the Sooners ... Added five tackles against OU ... Tied for second on the team with seven tackles against Nebraska ... Had three TFLs against the Huskers, including two sacks ... Made seven tackles, including one for a loss against Texas Tech ... Picked off a pass and returned it 10 yards, for his second INT of 2010 ... Also had three pass break-ups against the Red Raiders ... Made nine tackles and had 1.5 TFLs against Kansas State.
(Entering 2012) One of the more athletic specimens to ever play the linebacker position at Mizzou, who is poised for a big senior season in his 3rd year as a starter ... Begins fall ball lined up atop the depth chart at the weakside spot, where he started all 13 games in 2011 ... Earned his undergraduate degree from MU's Trulaske College of Business this past May, meaning he'll play the 2012 season as a graduate student.
Saw his first action as a Tiger after moving down to the linebackers over the summer, after spending the spring at his traditional safety position ... Saw action in all 13 games and really started to hit his stride toward the latter part of the season, as he had three or more tackles in six of MU's last seven ballgames ... Finished with 30 tackles on the year, including three tackles for loss ... Also did a great job in the classroom, as he earned First-Team Academic All-Big 12 honors for his efforts ... Made three tackles against Furman, including one TFL ... Had a then-career-best four tackles against Nevada and recorded two stops in the Oklahoma State game ... Tied his career high with four tackles against Texas ... Made three tackles (all solos) against Colorado on Oct. 31 ... Also recovered a fumble in the win over CU ... Had one pass-break-up against Baylor on Nov. 7 ... Made five tackles against Kansas State to set a new career best ... Also forced a key fumble on the one-yard line that went out of the endzone resulting in a touchback for Missouri ... Had three tackles in both the Iowa State and Kansas games ... Had three tackles in the spring game from the safety position.
Worked hard as part of the Tiger defensive scout team ... Twice was named the defense's Back-Up Player of the Week - for his efforts in practice prior to Mizzou's games against Oklahoma State and Kansas.
Rated as the nation's No. 32 safety prospect by Rivals, as well as the No. 56 overall player (any position) in the state of Texas ... Was also a standout running back for Pflugerville, as he rushed for 1,128 yards and nine TDs ... Played a major role on his team which went 12-4 in 2007 and finished as 5A state runners up ... Won district all-purpose player of the year honors in 2007, and was also a First-Team All-District safety and Second-Team All-District running back ... Had two INTs and a fumble recovery on defense ... Was a Second-Team All-District defensive back as a junior in 2006 ... Also rushed for 800 yards and 10 TDs on offense ... Notched 50 tackles and added two INTs and a forced fumble on defense as a sophomore for Pflugerville ... High school coach - George Herrman.
Parents Maury & Tonia Gooden ... Has an interest in studying entrepreneurship in MU's College of Business ... Spent time volunteering in his local PALS program, as well as the Ready, Set, Teach program ... Chose Mizzou over Oklahoma, Purdue, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Texas Tech and Iowa State, among others.
Draft Scout Player News
11/18/16 - LB Zaviar Gooden was promoted from the practice squad on Friday by the Arizona Cardinals. The 6-foot-1, 231-pound Gooden joined the Cardinals' practice squad on Nov. 1. He entered the league as a third-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in the 2013 draft out of Missouri.
11/01/16 - LB Zaviar Gooden was signed to the practice squad of the Arizona Cardinals. Gooden, who was released from Detroit's practice squad on Oct. 13, has appeared in 25 career games with the Tennessee Titans and Lions.
09/26/16 - The Detroit Lions waived linebacker Zaviar Gooden on Monday after he was promoted from the practice squad and played in Sunday's game.
09/24/16 - LB Zaviar Gooden was signed to the active roster on Saturday by the Detroit Lions, who waived wide receiver Aaron Dobson. Gooden was signed to the practice squad this week after originally participating in training camp. He spent the 2013 and '14 seasons with the Tennessee Titans, where he had 27 tackles (17 solo) in 24 games (three starts).
08/14/16 - LB Zaviar Gooden suffered a concussion against the Steelers and now must go through the NFL's return-to-play protocol before he gets back on the field. Gooden's health, obviously, is of paramount concern, but his absence leaves the Lions shorthanded at an already thin position. Backup Jon Bostic suffered a leg injury last week and the Lions are still determining whether he needs surgery.