This is our Dont’a Hightower scouting report. Hightower is one of many quality Alabama linebacker prospects. For all of our other scouting reports go to our scouting report page
|G||Passes Broken Up||QB Hurries||Fumbles Forced||Kicks/Punts Blocked|
70 Tackles, 30 solo, 8 TFL, 9 QB hurries, 3 pass broken up
The biggest concern is probably whether or not he can cover well enough to be a three down linebacker in the N.F.L.
Medical Concerns are shrinking but still there (bad knee injury in 2009), Hightower was apprehensive following his knee injury in 2010 and his production suffered. This year he has returned to form and exceeded, many expectations. 2011 Butkus award finalist and possibly the most valuable linebacker in the draft. Has great size and never comes off, the field on defense. The most improvement he has made thus far is his mobility; Dont’a has been able to improve his lateral movement down, the line to chase down plays from the backside and cover backs and tight ends he couldn’t otherwise handle in 2010.
Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears is a good comparison for Hightower at this juncture in Urlacher’s career. Last year Hightower wasn’t as comfortable without the knee brace to meet this comparison; Now that he has regained his form, his athleticism for a guy that size is remarkable. Dont’a could play a similar role as Urlacher and have the same impact if he stays healthy. He is a very big linebacker and has the potential to be the nucleus of a defense. Provided he stays healthy, Hightower could be an absolute steal if he slides down to a late second round pick.
I disagree with that player comparison. Urlacher is all about speed and his best attribute his is speed, that’s not true with Hightower.
The combination of Hightower and Upshaw is going to make it nearly impossible to run on the Alabama defense all season long. Hightower would have been a high choice in the 2011 draft had he chosen to come out. Somewhat raw right now, but was dominant as a freshman before missing out on the entire 2009 season due to injury (granted medical redshirt). This is a guy who is the perfect fit for the 3-4 defense, and could play inside or outside. Won the Mal Moore leadership award following Spring practice in 2010. He has a similar body type to Brian Urlacher coming out of New Mexico State, but is not quite as athletic (Urlacher returned punts). Could have a similar impact as a MIKE linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 alignment, and may have upside as a SAM or rush linebacker in a 3-4.
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