The pick was the final selection of the third round. It was also the pick the Bengals got as a result of Michael Johnson leaving to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year. Oh, in case you forgot, Johnson was cut this offseason by Tampa Bay before re-signing with Cincinnati. (That's how you win in the draft.)
Anyhow, this was a solid pick by the Bengals, something some would argue they hadn't made up to this point. Dawson was rated as the No. 1 4-3 linebacker prospect by some services, and most expected he'd be off the board by now.
Dawson was a force at TCU in 2014, leading the Horned Frogs defense with 136 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and four interceptions on his way to being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He would be a huge steal at this point, and he'd likely become an instant starter at WILL while Burfict recovers.
Dawson is best suited at WILL, and once Burfict is back, the Bengals should look find a way to have both on the field. They tend to play just two linebackers in their base nickel defense and Burfict would simply move to middle with Dawson as the other 'backer, giving Cincinnati a nice one-two punch.
"Paul Dawson's tape is as good as anybody's in the country. He is a little bit like Chris Borland. The question is why he wasn't a first- or second-round pick. He's not a tester; his measureables weren't good. And, there are questions about character." -- Mike Mayock
Seems every NFL or NFL Draft expert on my timeline loves the Paul Dawson pick. @RapSheet calls him a Vontaze Burfict "clone."— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) May 2, 2015
ESPN's Todd McShay on Bengals selection of Paul Dawson: "Absolutely love this pick. Felt he could've been a second rounder."— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) May 2, 2015
Marvin Lewis praises Tyler Kroft's all-around ability at TE. As for Paul Dawson, he considers him a physical player who gives depth at LB— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) May 2, 2015
Marvin Lewis on Paul Dawson: "Extremely, extremely instinctive in-line linebacker."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) May 2, 2015