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Paul Dawson improves 40, meets with Rams, Saints at pro day

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TCU linebacker Paul Dawson's performance at the NFL Scouting Combine was noteworthy in its mediocrity. It received so much attention that Dawson felt obligated to respond on Twitter.

The good news for Dawson is that he looked noticeably better Friday at TCU's pro day. Specifically, his time in the 40-yard dash improved significantly from 4.93, which could be reassuring for teams that were questioning his athleticism after the combine.

Despite his combine showing, Dawson (6-foot-0 1/8, 235 pounds) remains a favorite of some teams and he likely will be one of the first linebackers -- excluding edge rushers -- off the board.

His workout Friday certainly caught the eye of some teams. The St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints met with him at the event, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Charean Williams.

Dawson led TCU, which finished 12-1, with 136 tackles during the 2014 season, when the Horned Frogs (12-1) finished eighth nationally in scoring defense and 18th in total defense. TCU uses a 4-2-5 set, and Dawson is seen as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme by some analysts and an outside guy in a 4-3 set by others.

Dawson is the top-ranked linebacker in the draft by NFL Media analysts Mike Mayock and Lance Zierlein (their linebacker rankings do not include LBs who are seen as edge rushers). Zierlein calls him an "outrageously productive linebacker with a nose for the ball." Dawson said in mid-March that he had visits with five teams set up.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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