In terms of analyzing the numbers he posted, there aren’t many edge rushing prospects in this year’s draft that can hold a candle to Washington Huskies edge rusher Hau’oli Kikaha. Last season alone, Kikaha had 72 tackles, 25 for a loss, a whopping 19 sacks, and three forced fumbles.
Kikaha didn’t show great at the Washington pro day athletically, confirming what many saw on tape. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect and what he brings to an NFL team…
Kikaha is a force to be reckoned with in terms of putting effort toward his craft. He has a relentless motor in pursuit of the ball carrier, of the quarterback, of whatever it is he’s trying to hit.Jan 2, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies linebacker Hau
This man is an absolute ferocious beast when it comes to that. At one point this season, he had played 14 straight games recording a sack. That’s absolutely unheard of for college players.
I love how Kikaha bends the edge, how he gets pressure on the quarterback in a variety of ways from a variety of positions. He does a great job of playing with leverage at his size, and because he’s not the biggest edge player, he’s got to be smarter than the opposition, which he usually is.
What I’m most impressed by is how quick and efficient he is with his hands. Kikaha plays with violent hands and is extremely skilled in placement.
Dips his shoulder and turns the corner well. Hits hard when he gets to the quarterback and doesn’t let up on a play.
Not going to be able to be asked to play much in coverage, other than short zones. He’s not much of an edge setter in the run game either, though he is able to maintain gap discipline and force plays where they need to go at times.
The biggest concern with Kikaha right now is medical. He missed the entire 2012 season due to knee injury, and has had multiple in his career already. There was a report the other day that came out saying Kikaha had already been failed by multiple teams medically, which could cause him to fall on draft weekend.
The other major concern you have for him as a linebacker is straight line speed. a 4.9 in the 40-yard dash isn’t the end of a career for a pass rusher but it’s not a good number at all and that doesn’t help when you have to face mobile quarterbacks and catch guys in pursuit. That’s a problem with recovery speed as well, and making plays from behind.
Doesn’t have ideal size for an edge player in terms of his weight, but he’s about average in that regard.
More from NFL Mocks
NFL Scheme Fit
Jarvis Jones, Steelers
This is a tough player to project his spot in the draft. I think ultimately his knee concerns will push him down boards, though his production seems to indicate he’s a top 100 pick. I think we’ll see him land in the fourth or fifth round as a value pick unless some team falls in love with him and clears him medically.
Kikaha is a pass rush specialist, a playmaker behind the line of scrimmage, and a guy that is going to have a role in the NFL. I saw a comparison to Rob Ninkovich, which I think would be a really nice ceiling for him. He can hopefully help out on special teams and give you an immediate boost in the pass rush department.
As a mid-round pick, this guy is going to be a solid value.