Data Scout Notes: 2018: 01-03-18 - Announced Early Entry into 2018 NFL Draft…2017: NAC...2016: NAC...2015: NAC...(+) Foot INJ, Out for 2015/DS #31 Soph CB...2014: NA
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Rashaan Gaulden Tennessee Volunteers Cornerback 6-1, 195, 4.53, #7 Spring Hill, Tenn. Independence 1/23/1995
01/03/18 - Tennessee defensive back Rashaan Gaulden has tweeted that he's forgoing his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Gaulden tweeted that "it has been an honor to wear the Orange and White and represent the Power T while playing in Neyland Stadium the last four years." He thanked his coaches and teammates as well as Tennessee's fans. As a fourth-year junior this season, Gaulden had 65 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, an interception and five pass breakups. The 6-foot-1 defensive back had a year of eligibility remaining because he redshirted due to a foot injury in 2015. Gaulden joins running back John Kelly as Tennessee players entering the draft with eligibility remaining. Kelly announced his decision on social media Friday. -
A two-year starter at Tennessee, Gaulden served as the swiss army knife of the Volunteers’ secondary and lined up primarily as the starting nickel and inside corner, helping Tennessee rank No. 3 nationally in pass defense in 2017.
Gaulden is dripping with natural talent, displaying the athletic twitch and coordination to match offensive skill players. Gaulden anticipates well and trusts his diagnose skills to put himself in position to make plays, but his overeager run angles will lead to false movements. Although his emotions will get the best of him at times, he takes pride in his fearless mentality and his infectious energy is received well among his teammates.
BACKGROUND A four-star safety recruit out of high school, Gaulden played football at Brentwood Academy as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Independence. He sat out his junior year and finished strong with 193 total tackles as a senior, earning all-state honors. Gaulden was also named an All-American in track and field, finishing fourth nationally in the 4x400 relay at the Junior Olympics. He received scholarship offers from South Carolina, Vanderbilt and others before deciding to stay in-state and commit to the Vols.
Gaulden spent his true freshman season as a back-up and special teamer, posting seven tackles. He was expected to become a starter as a sophomore, but his 2015 season was wiped out after a foot injury during pre-season practice, leading to a medical redshirt. Gaulden returned in 2016 and started nine games at nickelback, recording 68 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, four passes defended and one forced fumble. He started one game at cornerback as a junior in 2017, but spent most of the year as the nickel, finishing with 65 tackles, three forced fumbles, six passes defended and his first career interception.
STRENGTHS Finely-tuned athlete. Outstanding top-end speed. Hustle and chase skills are above average, making plays from the other side of the field. Decisive reactor and closing burst to drive on routes. Lower body burst to mirror routes in his transition. Dependable tackler and loves contact. Closes down the edge and strings out runs. Strong hands/wrists to finish tackles. Brings juice off the edge as a blitzer – zero career sacks, but routinely flushed the pocket or forced the quarterback to move his feet. Undersized, but feisty and doesn’t play small (added 35-pounds of good weight since high school). Never takes a play off or coasts – easy to appreciate his passion and desire to make plays. Junior captain and well-liked teammate (defensive back Cameron Sutton wore the No. 7 jersey in his honor during his missed 2015 season). Plays with infectious energy and nicknamed the “energizer bunny” by his roommate and teammate running back Todd Kelly. Versatile experience in the secondary, playing cornerback, nickel and safety. – Dane Brugler 1/14/2018
WEAKNESSES Lean-muscled frame and needs to continue his body development. Consistently arrives too hot in the run game and overruns the ballcarrier. Will have his share of ankle-biting misses. Late shedding blocks on the perimeter. Unbalanced jam technique. Allows his footwork to break down at the top of routes, getting turned around and out of position. Underwhelming ball production with only one career interception, which came on a deflected pass. Immature mental discipline and needs to better control his emotions – gave a double-bird salute (Oct. 2017) to the Alabama crowd following Tennessee’s only touchdown in that game; ejected from the Kentucky game (Oct. 2017) following two personal foul penalties. Missed the 2015 season after suffering a Lisfranc injury (ruptured ligament, broken bone) to his foot during preseason practice, requiring surgery. – Dane Brugler 1/14/2018
COMPARES TO: Morgan Burnett, Green Bay Packers – While most of his career has been at safety, Burnett has done a nice job when asked to play the nickel cornerback position. Gaulden, who was similar measureables as Burnett, always wanted to be a safety, but his value as nickel cornerback might win out once on a NFL roster.
IN OUR VIEW: Gaulden needs to mature his discipline, but his play speed, toughness and heart are all NFL quality and foundation traits that pro coaches can mold. He can likely play outside corner, but Gaulden did his best work on tape when at the nickel cornerback position, playing inside. …
Recovered his third fumble in as many games during the third quarter vs. Southern Miss. The turnover led to a John Kelly touchdown and gave UT a 24-3 lead...Forced a fumble on Kentucky’s first drive of the third quarter, leading to a field goal, and recovered a fumble with less than three minutes in the third that set up UT’s final field goal of the game (10/28)...Recovered the first fumble of his career in the fourth quarter at No. 1 Alabama, giving Tennessee the ball at the UA20...Led UT’s defense with 10 tackles, including eight solo tackles, vs. South Carolina (10/14), matching a career-high recorded at Florida...Recorded a career-high 10 tackles at No. 24 Florida and intercepted a pass by UF’s Feleipe Franks at the 40-yard line, sparking UT’s game-tying drive (9/16)..Forced second fumble of his career and made seven tackles vs. Georgia Tech (9/4).
Started nine games at nickel and ranked third on the team with 68 tackles (52 solo) while also posting 6.0 tackles for loss, four passes defended, one forced fumble, and one QB hurry...Posted five tackles, one forced fumble and two pass breakups in win over Nebraska in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (12/30)...Had five tackles and one TFL at Vanderbilt (11/26)...Made eighth start at nickel against Missouri (11/19) and made a career-high nine tackles...Tallied six tackles (five solo) and 1.0 TFL in win vs. Kentucky (11/12)...Made sixth start at nickel and made six tackles (three solo) and 0.5 TFL vs. Tennessee Tech (11/5)...Recorded four tackles at South Carolina (10/29)...Made six tackles, including career-best 2 TFL for 1 1 yards against Alabama (10/15) in fourth start at nickel...Started at nickel against Texas A&M (10/8) and made three tackles...Recorded career-high eight tackles (seven solo) and had one pass breakup in win at Georgia (10/1)...Started at nickelback in win vs. Florida (9/24) and recorded one solo tackle and one quarterback hurry...Made first start of career at nickelback against Ohio (9/17), tying career high with seven tackles (six solo)...Made a career-high seven tackles (four solo) and half of a TFL against Virginia Tech (9/10)...Had one tackle and one pass break-up against Appalachian State (9/1), first game action since 2014.
Suffered season-ending foot injury during training camp and underwent surgery in late August...Secondary teammate Cameron Sutton is wearing Gaulden's #7 as a tribute during the 2015 season...Prior to injury, Gaulden was working as the Vols starting nickelback...Awarded the Andy Spiva Defensive Player Award at the 2015 Orange and White Game.
In 11 games, made seven tackles, five on special teams...Had a tackle in 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl win over Iowa (1/2).
Lettered at Independence High School in Spring Hill, Tenn. under head coach Scott Blade...247 Sports: 3-star (No. 34 safety, No. 9 prospect in Tenn.)...ESPN: 3-star (No. 60 safety, No. 18 prospect in Tenn.)...Rivals: 4-star (No. 21 safety, No. 6 prospect in Tenn.)...Scout: 3-star (No. 94 safety)...Member of The Tennessean's 2013 Dandy Dozen...2013 First Team All-Midstate defensive back...Played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl following his senior season...Recorded 193 total tackles including 117 solo tackles, an average of 14.8 tackles per game in his senior season...Named All-American in track and field after finishing fourth nationally in the 4x400 relay at the U.S. Track and Field Junior Olympics.
Full Name: Rashaan Malik Gaulden...Born: January 23, 1995...Son of Cassandra and Reynold Gaulden...Majoring in History...Recipient of the Templeton Athletic Scholarship Endowment.
Draft Scout Player News
03/21/18 - Tennessee Pro Day: Free safety Rashaun Gaulden, ranked as the 50th-best prospect by NFLDraftScout's Dane Brugler, has been asked by NFL teams about his "double-bird" gesture to the Alabama crowd in last season's loss to the Crimson Tide. "Most of the teams ask me about it," Gaulden said. "I give them the same answer. I'm a very passionate guy when I step on the field. I hate Alabama. That's just how it is. But, at the same time, I know that in sports there's no place for that kind of thing to happen. - The Sports Xchange
02/27/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Players Who Need to Interview Well: Rashaan Gaulden, CB/S, Tennessee...Sometimes it is a fine line between being passionate and undisciplined, which was often an issue for Gaulden at Tennessee. He might be best known for his double-bird salute to the Alabama crowd following the Volunteers only touchdown in that game. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/03/18 - Tennessee defensive back Rashaan Gaulden has tweeted that he's forgoing his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Gaulden tweeted that "it has been an honor to wear the Orange and White and represent the Power T while playing in Neyland Stadium the last four years." He thanked his coaches and teammates as well as Tennessee's fans. As a fourth-year junior this season, Gaulden had 65 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, an interception and five pass breakups. The 6-foot-1 defensive back had a year of eligibility remaining because he redshirted due to a foot injury in 2015. Gaulden joins running back John Kelly as Tennessee players entering the draft with eligibility remaining. Kelly announced his decision on social media Friday. - AP College Football
08/24/15 - Tennessee DB Gaulden out for season...Tennessee defensive back Rashaan Gaulden has a broken foot and will miss the season, head coach Butch Jones announced Saturday. Jones said the sophomore got "tripped up" during a punt return drill Thursday. "Rashaan meant so much to us, not only from a defensive standpoint, but on special teams as well," Jones said after Saturday's practice. The 6-foot-1, 178-pound Gaulden played primarily on special teams in 11 games as a freshman last season. He was expected to start at nickel cornerback this season. The Volunteers already have lost two offensive linemen -- guards Marcus Jackson and Austin Sanders -- to season-ending biceps injuries this preseason. Tennessee opens the 2015 season at home against Bowling Green on Sept. 5. - The Sports Xchange