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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

2015 NFL Draft: A Scout's Eye View: Hau'oli Kikaha OLB Washington

Hau'oli Kikaha OLB Washington

Measurables: 6'3 253 32.5" arms 9 5/8" hands

Combine Results: 4.93 40 yard dash, 20 bench reps, 112" broad jump, 4.37 20 yard shuttle, 7.16 3 cone drill

Scouting Notes: Average looking build for an outside linebacker with very above average production, lacks ideal length for an edge rusher...Gets a very quick jump off the ball, does a nice job of anticipating the snap though it does make him somewhat susceptible to being drawn offside by quarterbacks with deceptive cadance, ultra quick first step, has more quick twirch to his game than you'd expect from looking at him, fires off the football low and hard, outstanding skills as an edge rusher, very good natural dip and bend very flexible coming off the corner, explodes off the ball and turns speed to power...Not just a one trick pony, not just an explosive first step guy, possesses savvy and polish as a pass rusher, knows how to set up the man in front of him and knows which of his wide range of pass rush moves to use and when, including a very effective spin move and an impressive speed to power "Reggie White/Howie Long hump move"...His functional football athleticsm far exceeds what you see in shorts in a combine setting, plays much faster than any of his combine numbers would lead you to believe...Very skilled, active, strong and violent hands and does a great job with hand placement, walks 300 plus pound OT's back into the passer consistently by gaining inside hand position on his man winning the leverage game giving him an excellent bull rush to collapse the pocket...Couples his skill and quickness as an edge rusher with a very high motor from snap to whistle, plays with a contagious hyper active intensity but doesn't play out of control....Was nearly impossible for one man to handle in pass protection, led the nation with 19 sacks in 2014 as well as 25 tackles for loss, preceeded that with 13 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 2013 so he's not just a one year wonder...Very fast closing speed once he gets a bee-line to the passer he closes the gap quickly and rarely allows the passer to escape...His short area lateral quickness makes him tough to handle on inside line stunts for interior linemen, can also win with leverage he loops inside and brings a load with him, rolls his hips and explodes into the blocker with inside hand positioning...Excellent body control coming off the edge, able to dip underneath the blocker and flatten down the line, doesn't get ridden past the play as often as most edge rushers do...Doesn't force as many fumbles as he should given the amount of blindside sacks he's raked up the past couple seasons, needs to go after the football more often, get in the habit of clubbing down on the passer when he arrives, he flashes ball hawking instincts on film against the run, looks for the strip when he's the second or third man to the ball but needs to be more of a ballhawk as a pass rusher...A high motor player who also plays with discipline and intelligence, doesn't overpursue often, does a nice job of breaking down at the point of attack as well as keeping outside contain against the read option, doesn't allow himself to get sucked in down the line too often, though he could add better consistency in this area, and doesn't draw roughing penalties against the passer, he's a smart finisher, very rarely hits the quarterback high or late...Does a nice job of keeping his eyes up and in the backfield when engaged, knows when to get his hands up to disrupt passing lanes...Has excellent feet and agility, rarely seen on the ground on film, protects his legs well...Not just a pass rush specialist, makes plays against the run all over the field, relentless in pursuit, a tireless worker on the field....A good, sure, clean and fundamentally sound hit and wrap tackler....Has some awareness issues, struggles at times to see the trap block coming, looks comfortable moving in space but too often appears to get lost in coverage, gets caught in no man's land and loses track of receivers...Usually plays with good natural knee bend as a pass rusher but plays too high against the run and gets driven off the football, appears overeager on film  against the run, seems more comfortable attempting to disengage than he is anchoring down and setting the edge...Worked out of a two point and a three point stance at Washington, looks more comfortable and more explosive standing up, he's a bit on the thin side in his lower half to hold up effectively as a 4-3 base end...Long term durability is a concern, tore the same ACL in consecutive seasons earlier in his career...Kikaha is a highly underrated prospect, he's a disruptive force off the edge, forget about what he did at the combine, the film tells the story, he's a football player with functional football athleticism and should be a force from day one rushing the passer....He's not a one dimensional player, but his pass rushing ability is far ahead of his run stuffing and coverage ability at this point.

Draft Grade: Early to Mid 2nd Round


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