By: Derek Havens
Name: Dont’a Hightower
Selected: Round 1, Pick 25
Height: 6 – 2
– Smart, instinctive, versatile and rarely comes off the field. His football IQ is off the charts.
– Great tackler and a force at the point of attack. Very physical.
– Experienced in a pro defense and a consistent playmaker.
– Fast for his size and can get after opposing QBs.
– Strong technique and does a great job shedding opposing players.
– Knows his role and assignment and diagnoses the play very quickly.
– Durability concerns. A season-ending knee injury cost Hightower the majority of the 2009 campaign.
– Does not cover a large amount of field
Throughout his career at Alabama, Dont’a Hightower has shown he can play in the NFL. He is a tough, physical, in-the-box defender that can break down plays in a hurry. While being very strong against the run, he also showed he could make plays defending the pass. Hightower has a unique blend of size and speed (ran a 4.62 40 yard dash at the Combine).
Hightower does a tremendous job shedding blocks, fighting through the trash and locating the ball carrier. The massive linebacker is a rare specimen who has the quickness and agility to be able to play in space. In the end, I am not surprised Belichick selected the Alabama captain, it seems like he was meant to be a Patriot.
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