ZAVIAR GOODEN

Outside Linebacker

University of Missouri Tigers

#25

6:01.4-234

Pflugerville, Texas

Pflugerville High School

 

OVERVIEW

While Gooden’s production at Missouri does not come close to matching those of two previous Tigers that were selected in the first round of the draft – Sean Weatherspoon and Aldon Smith, what impresses teams is his athleticism, blazing speed, versatility and excellence performing on special teams. Recruited to play strong-side outside linebacker, he found his way into the starting lineup the following season on the weak-side, starting every game he was healthy enough to play in during the course of the next three seasons.

 

Much like Weatherspoon, Gooden is a physical wrap-up tackler with very good field vision and quick reactionary skills. His ability to sift out the ball in a crowd could see him shift to an interior linebacker position in the professional ranks, but with that sub 4.5 speed, having him play on the move and blitz from the edge could be his ticket to a quicker starting opportunity in the pro ranks.

 

Normally, it is rare to see a linebacker don jersey #25, as it is usually reserved for defensive backs and ball carriers. But, at the University of Missouri, that jersey number held a special meaning that Gooden wears like a badge of honor. The number was first worn by Aaron O’Neal, a redshirt freshman who passed away just a couple of hours after a July 2005 voluntary team workout.

 

Even though O’Neal passed before Gooden arrived on campus, he still feels that he represents the late linebacker and his family, and it shows in his play. While he might not be big enough to play on the strong-side in the NFL, his quickness, range and pass coverage ability is ideally suited for weak-side linebacker, especially in a Cover-2 system.

 

Gooden has very good foot speed and balance. He shows smooth change of direction agility and is quick and sudden closing when he locates the ball. He is a player that is lacking in size, but not in strength or quickness. He is a coordinated runner who plays with good urgency and in addition to generating an explosive closing burst, he is best served when allowed to roam the field and make plays on the move.

 

Gooden is a normal strider who plays with good knee bend, and has the upper body strength needed to gain leverage. He is an efficient space player with a good short area burst. He has safety-like moves dropping back in zone coverage, as he can stay on the hip of a receiver throughout the route. He also shows good concept for taking angles when trying get to running backs in the flat.

 

Thanks to his athletic ability and blazing speed, Gooden was used as a running back and safety during his playing days at Pflugerville High School. He earned a starting job on defense as a sophomore, responding with 50 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. The following year, he started on both sides of the ball, as the All-District first-team safety posted 61 tackles with two more pass thefts and the All-District second-team running back accounted for 800 yards and ten touchdowns on the ground.

 

As a senior, Gooden rushed for 1,128 yards and nine touchdowns, adding a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery while guiding the team to a 12-4 record and a second place finish in the Class 5A ranks. He was selected the district’s All-Purpose Player of the Year in 2007. Rivals.com rated him the 32nd-best safety in the nation and regarded him as the 56th-best player in the state of Texas.

 

Gooden enrolled at Missouri in 2008, spending the season on the scout team as a safety, twice receiving Scout Team Player of the Week honors from the coaching staff. With his frame filling out to 225 pounds by the time he returned to campus for fall camp, the staff shifted him to the linebacker unit, where he backed up Andrew Gachkar at the strong-side outside slot. He delivered 30 tackles with three stops-for-loss in thirteen appearances.

 

With All-American Sean Weatherspoon having left the university as a first round draft choice by the Atlanta Falcons, Gooden quickly seized the weak-side position in 2010 fall camp. He went on to lead the team with 85 tackles, posting three sacks with two fumble recoveries and a pair of interceptions.

 

As a junior, Gooden again started every game, as the weak-side linebacker placed third on the squad with 80 tackles. He broke up four passes, intercepted another and blocked a kick. He also registered six stops behind the line of scrimmage.

 

Gooden graduated in May, 2012, returning to the Tigers for his fifth season. He was elected team captain, but was limited to just ten games after he suffered a hamstring pull in the Tigers’ first game in the Southeastern Conference vs. Georgia. He sat out the next week vs. Arizona State, returned vs. South Carolina, only to re-injure the hamstring and was again on the sidelines the following week vs. Central Florida. He ended his final season posting 61 tackles with two fumble recoveries and an interception.

 

It was not until late in the 2012 season that Gooden’s hamstring strain would fully heal. He was invited to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl, but it was at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine where he really opened the eyes of NFL decision makers with his stellar performance in the agility drills. He ran a scorching 4.47-second clocking in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time by any linebacker at the event.

 

Gooden also had top performances in the broad jump (10-11), registered a 38 ½-inch vertical jump and led his group in the three-cone drill (6.71), 20-yard shuttle (4.18) and 60-yard shuttle (11.28). In the weight room, he put up 225 pounds 27 times in the bench press.

His leap of 38½ inches drew a grasp from spectators, prompting someone to ask Gooden if he’s in the wrong sport. Maybe he should be pursuing a basketball career. “No, I gave that up a long time ago,” Gooden said, laughing.

 

CAREER NOTES

Gooden appeared in 49 games at Missouri, starting his final 36 contests at weak-side outside linebacker…Recorded 256 tackles (167 solos), as he produced four sacks for minus 11 yards, 20.5 stops for losses of 55 yards, caused two fumbles and recovered five others…deflected eleven passes and had five interceptions for 30 yards in returns, as he also blocked one kick.

 

2012 SEASON

Gooden served as team captain, as the May graduate was primed for a banner senior campaign, but in the Tigers’ second game, their first as a member in the Southeastern Conference, he suffered a strained hamstring vs. Georgia, sitting out the next game vs. Arizona State…Returned vs. South Carolina, but left early with a reoccurrence of the injury and did not play the next contest vs. Central Florida…In ten starting assignments, the weak-side outside linebacker finished seventh on the team with 61 tackles (36 solos), adding four stops behind the line of scrimmage and two fumble recoveries…Returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown, as he also made two stops-for-loss and six tackles (5 solos) in the season opener vs. Southeastern Louisiana…Despite injuring his ham-string, Gooden finished the Georgia game with eight tackles (five solos)…In the Vanderbilt clash, he recorded seven tackles and followed by making four tackles, including half a tackle for loss vs. Alabama, as he also recovered a fumble in the game…Added four tackles (three solos) with a fumble recovery in the Tigers’ 33-10 win over Kentucky on homecoming…Delivered five tackles (three solos) including half a tackle for loss and a pass break-up in the Tigers’ 14-7 loss at Florida…Led Mizzou with nine tackles (three solos), including half a tackle for loss in the Tigers’ 51-48 overtime win at Tennessee… Posted a career high 15 tackles (10 solos), including a tackle for loss in Mizzou’s 31-27 loss to Syracuse. The fifteen tackles were also the most for a Tiger in 2012.

 

2011 SEASON

Gooden started all thirteen games at weak-side linebacker, ranking third on the squad with 80 tackles (54 solos), adding a 3-yard sack and six stops for losses of 23 yards…Batted away four passes and intercepted two others…Led all Tigers with nine tackles vs. Arizona State and recorded his first sack of the season, dropping Brock Osweiler for a loss of three yards in the final two minutes. He also blocked an Arizona State extra point in the second quarter and was named the Big Twelve Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts vs. the Sun Devils…Registered eight tackles at Oklahoma, seven of which were solo with the other being assisted tackle for loss, as he also recorded a pass break-up vs. the Sooners…Racked up six tackles, including an assisted tackle for loss vs. Kansas State and led all Tigers with nine tackles vs. Oklahoma State, adding 1.5 tackles for loss vs. the Cowboys, totaling four yards, and also broke up a pass…Had three solo and three assisted tackles vs. Texas A&M, followed by six total tackles at Baylor, including one for a six-yard loss…Was in on six tackles vs. Texas and broke up two passes vs. Texas Tech, along with producing 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 of scrimmage by teammate Dominique Hamilton early in the first quarter vs. Kansas…Closed out the season with a six-tackle outing in the Independence Bowl, which included 1.5 stops for loss and an interception vs. North Carolina.

 

2010 SEASON

Gooden emerged as one of the top playmakers for the Tiger defense, as he led the team with 85 tackles (50 solos) 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 delivered three sacks and 7.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage… Also caused a fumble and recovered two others…Gained 10 yards on two interceptions and deflected five other throws…Tied for second on the team with eight tackles in the season opener vs. Illinois, his first career start…Made five tackles in the win over San Diego State and had seven stops vs. Miami (Ohio), as he also recovered a fumble vs. the RedHawks… Made eight tackles vs. Colorado that included two stops-for-loss and one sack, along with a pass break-up…Tied for the team lead with an eight-tackle performance vs. Texas A&M and recorded his first career interception vs. Oklahoma. The theft came in the fourth quarter, helping MU put away the Sooners, as he also made five tackles vs. OU…Tied for second on the team with seven tackles vs. Nebraska that included three stops-for-loss, including two sacks…Registered seven tackles, including one for a loss vs. Texas Tech and picked off a pass that he returned 10 yards, as he also had three pass break-ups vs. the Red Raiders…Made nine tackles and had 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Kansas State…Named All-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention by the league’s coaches after the season.

 

2009 SEASON

Gooden received first-team Academic All-Big Twelve Conference honors, as the former safety shifted to strong-side linebacker…Appeared in all thirteen games as a reserve, finishing with 30 tackles (27 solos), including three stops for minus six yards…Recovered and caused a fumble…Also deflected a pass.

 

 

2008 SEASON

Gooden worked hard as part of the Tiger defensive scout team, as the safety was twice named the defense’s Back-Up Player of the Week – for his efforts in practice prior to Mizzou’s games vs. Oklahoma State and Kansas.

 

INJURY REPORT

2012 Season…Gooden left the Georgia game shortly after halftime with a strained hamstring, sitting out the next game vs. Arizona State…Returned vs. South Carolina, but left early with a reoccurrence of the injury and did not play the next contest vs. Central Florida.

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.47 in the 40-yard dash…1.55 10-yard dash…2.52 20-yard dash…4.18 20-yard shuttle…

11.28 60-yard shuttle…6.71 three-cone drill…38 ½-inch vertical jump…10’11” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times…32 ¼-inch arm length…10-inch hands…76 ¼-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Gooden attended Pflugerville (Tex.) High School, playing football for head coach George Herrman…Earned a starting job on defense as a sophomore, responding with 50 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble…Started n both sides of the ball, as the All-District first-team junior safety posted 61 tackles with two more pass thefts and the All-District second-team running back accounted for 800 yards and ten touchdowns on the ground…

As a senior, Gooden rushed for 1,128 yards and nine touchdowns, intercepted a pair of passes and had a fumble recovery while guiding the team to a 12-4 record and a second place finish in the Class 5A ranks…Selected the district’s All-Purpose Player of the Year in 2007…Rivals.com rated him the 32nd-best safety in the nation and regarded him as the 56th-best player in the state of Texas.

 

PERSONAL

Giooden graduated in May of 2012 with a degree in Entrepreneurship in Missouri’s College of Business…Spent time volunteering in his local PALS program, as well as the Ready, Set, Teach program…Son of Tonia and Maury Gooden…Resides in Pflugerville, Texas.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS GP GS TK SO AS FR FC INT TFL PBU SACK BK
2009 13 00 030 027 003  01  01  00  03.0-06   01  0.0-00  00
2010 13 13 085 050 035  02  01  02  07.5-16   05  3.0-08  00
2011 13 13 080 054 026  00  00  02  06.0-23   04  1.0-03  01
2012 10 10 061 036 025  02  00  01  04.0-10   01  0.0-00  00
TOTAL 49 36 256 167 089  05  02  05  20.5-55   11  4.0-11  01

 

INTERCEPTION RETURNS ADVANCED FUMBLE RECOVERIES
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG NO YARDS AVG TD LONG
2009  00        00 00.00  00    00  01        01 01.00  00    01
2010  02        10 05.00  00    10  00        00 00.00  00    00
2011  02        00 00.00  00    00  00        00 00.00  00    00
2012  01        20 20.00  01    20  00        00 00.00  00    00
TOTAL  05        30 06.00  01    20  01        01 01.00  00    01

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOODEN GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

BK

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Southeastern La. 09/01/12 Southeastern La. 62-10

Yes

1

20

1

1

5

0

2

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia 09/08/12 Georgia 20-41

Yes

0

0

0

3

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arizona St. 09/15/12 Arizona St. 24-20

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Carolina 09/22/12 at South Carolina 10-31

Yes

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

UCF 09/29/12 at UCF 21-16

No

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Vanderbilt 10/06/12 Vanderbilt 15-19

Yes

0

0

0

5

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Alabama 10/13/12 Alabama 10-42

Yes

0

0

0

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky 10/27/12 Kentucky 33-10

Yes

0

0

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Florida 11/03/12 at Florida 7-14

Yes

0

0

0

2

3

1

0

4

0

0

0

1

0

0

Tennessee 11/10/12 at Tennessee 51-48

Yes

0

0

0

6

3

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Syracuse 11/17/12 Syracuse 27-31

Yes

0

0

0

5

10

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Texas A&M 11/24/12 at Texas A&M 29-59

Yes

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

1

20

1

25

36

4

2

10

0

0

0

1

0

0

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

BK

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Miami (OH) 09/03/11 Miami (OH) 17-6

Yes

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Arizona St. 09/09/11 at Arizona St. 30-37

Yes

0

0

0

0

9

0

1

3

0

1

3

0

0

1

Western Ill. 09/17/11 Western Ill. 69-0

Yes

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma 09/24/11 at Oklahoma 28-38

Yes

0

0

0

1

7

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

Kansas St. 10/08/11 at Kansas St. 17-24

Yes

0

0

0

2

4

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Iowa St. 10/15/11 Iowa St. 52-17

Yes

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma St. 10/22/11 Oklahoma St. 24-45

Yes

0

0

0

1

8

1

1

4

0

0

0

1

0

0

Texas A&M 10/29/11 at Texas A&M 38-31

Yes

0

0

0

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Baylor 11/05/11 at Baylor 39-42

Yes

0

0

0

1

5

0

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Texas 11/12/11 Texas 17-5

Yes

0

0

0

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Texas Tech 11/19/11 Texas Tech 31-27

Yes

0

0

0

6

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

Kansas 11/26/11 Kansas 24-10

Yes

1

0

0

2

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Carolina 12/26/11 North Carolina 41-24

Yes

1

0

0

4

2

1

1

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

2

0

0

26

54

4

4

23

0

1

3

4

0

1

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

BK

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Illinois 09/04/10 Illinois 23-13

Yes

0

0

0

3

5

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

McNeese St. 09/11/10 McNeese St. 50-6

Yes

0

0

0

3

1

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

San Diego St. 09/18/10 San Diego St. 27-24

Yes

0

0

0

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Miami (OH) 09/25/10 Miami (OH) 51-13

Yes

0

0

0

3

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colorado 10/09/10 Colorado 26-0

Yes

0

0

0

3

5

0

2

6

0

1

3

1

0

0

Texas A&M 10/16/10 at Texas A&M 30-9

Yes

0

0

0

5

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma 10/23/10 Oklahoma 36-27

Yes

1

0

0

2

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nebraska 10/30/10 at Nebraska 17-31

Yes

0

0

0

4

3

1

2

6

0

2

5

0

0

0

Texas Tech 11/06/10 at Texas Tech 17-24

Yes

1

10

0

2

5

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

Kansas St. 11/13/10 Kansas St. 38-28

Yes

0

0

0

4

5

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Iowa St. 11/20/10 at Iowa St. 14-0

Yes

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Kansas 11/27/10 Kansas 35-7

Yes

0

0

0

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Iowa 12/28/10 Iowa 24-27

Yes

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Season Totals

2

10

0

35

50

5

5

16

0

3

8

5

1

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Fum. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

BK

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Illinois 09/05/09 Illinois 37-9

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bowling Green 09/12/09 Bowling Green 27-20

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Furman 09/19/09 Furman 52-12

Yes

0

0

0

2

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nevada 09/25/09 at Nevada 31-21

Yes

0

0

0

2

2

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nebraska 10/08/09 Nebraska 12-27

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Oklahoma St. 10/17/09 at Oklahoma St. 17-33

Yes

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

Texas 10/24/09 Texas 7-41

Yes

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colorado 10/31/09 at Colorado 36-17

Yes

1

1

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Baylor 11/07/09 Baylor 32-40

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Kansas St. 11/14/09 at Kansas St. 38-12

Yes

0

0

0

1

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Iowa St. 11/21/09 Iowa St. 34-24

Yes

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kansas 11/28/09 at Kansas 41-39

Yes

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Navy 12/31/09 Navy 13-35

Yes

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

1

1

0

9

21

0

3

6

0

0

0

1

1

0

 

Data provided by Dave-Te Thomas, Publisher of the NFL Draft Reports for TonySoftli.com & Tony Softli Draft Board; Distributed by Scouting Services, Inc. © Copyright 2012/13 – All Rights Reserved; Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Scouting Services Inc. is strictly prohibited.