Read & React: Much more instinctive than most believe, though he's allowed to freelance a bit. As such, he isn't as gap-disciplined as some teams would like. Often asked to rush the passer, but keeps his head up and locates the ball quickly on screens and draws. High effort in pursuit yards downfield.
Run defense: Lacks the bulk to stack and shed as a defensive end, but flashes an explosive pop and good lateral agility to disengage as a linebacker. Protects his knees well and flows through the trash efficiently on his way to the ballcarrier. Takes good angles to the ball in traffic, but lacks the straight-line speed to catch up in the open field.
Pass defense: Norwood's greatest weakness. Slow, choppy backpedal. Marginal straight-line speed and change-of-direction agility to remain with tight ends and running backs in coverage. Lacks the straight-line speed and fluidity for coverage but shows good instincts and has a knack for being at the right place at the right time.
Tackling: Good strength and lateral agility to slide off of blocks to make tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage. Breaks down well in space to make the stop against smaller, quicker athletes. Secure wrap-up tackler who shows some explosiveness as a hitter.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Effective pass rusher either standing up or with his hand on the ground. Thick build with solid overall musculature. Good burst off the line of scrimmage at the snap. Can pressure the tackle's outside shoulder and consistently threaten the pocket off the edge. Natural leverage advantage and good strength to get under the pads of the offensive tackle for an effective bull rush. Only marginal flexibility and balance to dip under and slip around the tackle as a pass rusher. Good closing speed.
Intangibles: High-effort defender and leader on and off the field. Voted team captain for the 2009 season. Earned his degree in criminal justice in 3 1/2 years despite not gaining admittance to South Carolina on his first three attempts. Is the first from his family to graduate. Operated in a defensive scheme tailored to fit his strengths. Allowed to do a lot of freelancing in the South Carolina scheme. Has the instincts, physicality and size for some to project him at inside linebacker. Considered leaving early for the NFL last season, but despite his gaudy statistics only received a fourth-to-seventh-round grade by the Advisory Committee.
NFL Comparison: Tedy Bruschi, ex-New England Patriots