Temple found a gem in New Jersey when picking up Dawkins. He actually earned starting assignments in two games as a true freshman (one at left tackle, one at right) before suffering a season-ending foot injury in game five. He came back to start 11 times on the left side in 2014, and then found a bit of trouble in March 2015 with fellow 2017 draft prospect Haason Reddick for an assault outside a Philadelphia nightclub. Dawkins wasn't suspended for that action, and served in a diversionary program (Reddick had his charged dropped). The next two falls, he played well enough to earn second-team All-American Athletic Conference honors in 2015 and first-team accolades in 2016 as the team's starter at left tackle.
Burly upper body and thick calves down below. Has shown enough upper-body strength to muscle his defender around even without using great leverage. Shows a natural amount of core strength to battle against bull rushers. Able to get out of stance and into his kick-slide with pretty good fluidity and quickness. Uses choppy steps to slide and rarely allows his base to get too narrow in pass protection or in the run game. Plays with balance. Uses aggressive, tight settle-step into defender and then fires hands and hips to help generate push in run game. Has experience in zone- and gap-running schemes. Full-time three-year starter at left tackle.
Hands are often too wide in pass protection and his punch turns into grabbing. Needs to keep hands quieter and inside pre-punch. Wide punch approach robs him of some of his natural length. Will head-butt into contact in pass pro. Can be a little inconsistent with footwork when attempting to redirect back inside against stunts. Has a little stiffness in his hips that limit his bend and could affect anchor. Gets caught over-committing on twists and will open the door for looping rushers. Needs to work on improving leverage rather than relying on pure power. Plays with inconsistent angles to the linebackers when making backside cut-off blocks.
Sources Tell Us
"I don't know if I see him as a guard or a tackle yet, but I think he can play both. I like him because I think he could upgrade our pass protection inside if we did bump him to guard, but he's athletic enough to play right tackle, too." -- AFC West scout
Quality tackle who operates with good balance and solid technique. Shows some good initial quickness and a smooth kick-slide out of his stance, but might be better in short areas as a guard rather than in open space as a tackle. He's athletic enough to operate in space, but power appears to be his calling card. His wide-hand approach in pass protection could be a difficult habit to break, but he has the natural power to withstand bull rush that might come with that. Dawkins is a well-schooled, three-year starter who has chance to transition into an early starter.