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Dont’a Hightower scouting report

Dont’a Hightower ILB Alabma #30
Ht: 6’4″

Wt: 260

Elite size and strength. A physical defender who has the strength to shed blocks. A reliable wrap-up tackler, but also has the ability to deliver the hard hit. Displays great discipline; does a nice job keeping his eyes in the backfield and staying in his zone. A team leader on the field; does a great job making sure his teammates are in position. Experienced lining up all over the field; has played inside and outside linebacker in the 3-4 base defense, and also with his hand on the ground in some 4-3 sets.
Suffered torn ACL and MCL in 2009. Knows where to be in coverage, but lacks the athleticism to be effective. Below-average speed for his position; will struggle to match up with athletic tight ends and running backs in man coverage at the next level. Limited explosiveness and agility; won’t be a consistent pass-rusher if lined up on the outside.
Hightower is an intriguing versatile prospect who can play inside or outside in a 3-4 scheme, and could potentially play defensive end in a 4-3 system. However, while the versatility is nice, it also makes him a bit of a ‘tweener. He lacks the explosiveness to be a consistent pass rusher if lined up on the outside, but also lacks the quick-twitch athleticism to be consistent dropping into coverage if lined up on the inside. It would be interesting to see if his quickness and speed improved if he dropped down to about 245-250 pounds.
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