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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Patriots Trade up AGAIN! Select Dont'a Hightower ILB Alabama

By: Greg
BEST DRAFT EVER?  The Patriots trade up again! This time they take Dont'a Hightower, LB from Alabama.

This guy is an absolute BEAST! He fell far in this draft.  Hightower was a 1st team all American last season and totaled 85 tackles. He would team up with Mayo to make one of the best young line backing cores in the league. He was the captain and leader on Alabama's championship team.
Four year starter.
Smart player
Hard hitter


I again love this pick. He was one of my favorite players in the draft. Two young players on defense will help this team out tremendously. Very excited about these two guys. Hightower will instantly make the Patriots linebacking core A LOT better.

Here is NFL Draftcountdown scouting report

Strengths:
• Outstanding frame and bulk with long arms
• Strong, powerful and will deliver the big hit
• Extremely stout run defender inside the box
• Shows the ability to take on / shed blockers
• Plays with heavy, violent and active hands
• Still has potential as pass rusher and blitzer
• Excellent instincts with a very high football IQ
• Will offer positional and schematic versatility
• Respected team leader and served as captain
• Mature and motivated with a great work ethic

Weaknesses:
• Struggles in space and is a liability in coverage
• Stiff with limited range, explosiveness and burst
• Not real agile and doesn't change directions well
• Limited repertoire of pass rush moves / counters
• Questionable motor and is too protective of legs
• May have some durability and conditioning issues

Injury History:
• Missed most of 2009 season with a torn ACL in left knee
• Broke left hand in 2011, which required surgery to repair

Notes:
A three-year starter for the Crimson Tide --- Named 2nd Team All-SEC in 2010 and 1st Team in 2011 --- Consensus 1st Team All-American in 2011 --- Was responsible for all the play calls and checks on one of the nation's premier defenses --- Graduated with a bachelor's degree in four years --- Lost a step after major knee injury early in career but is still quite a football player --- Much better against the run than the pass and may need to be protected within a scheme --- Could project to either inside or outside linebacker in a 3-4 or middle linebacker in a 4-3 but best fit will likely come in an odd front similar to the role he played in college --- Classic thumper with rare size and top intangibles.

NFL Player Comparison:Rolando McClain




Career Statistics
YearGPTKLTFLSACKPBUINT
200814642.50.000
20094164.01.010
201013693.50.030
2011138511.04.031
Totals4423521.05.071

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