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The Kiwanuka Enigma

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by PonyExpress, Mar 7, 2006.

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  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    The Kiwanuka Enigma: inside the numbers

    Nfldraftscout.com has now published their version of the official combine numbers, except the Wonderlic. Kiwanuka measured taller at the combine than at the senior bowl - 6’5 ¾â€, and weighed in at 266 lbs according to NFLdraft scout, not the 256 that was listed on a number of other sites. I put more credence in nfldraftscout numbers because of their more thorough approach to tracking statistics. There is no listing of Kiwi’s wingspan, which is freakish.

    Positives
    Running a 4.75 at 266 lbs is a not spectacular but is a good size speed ratio for an elite prospect, and bettered many 1st day LB prospects running in the 230 lb range. As a comparison Kamerion Wimbley ran a 4.62 at only 248 lbs. Watching Kiwanuka run at the combine, he ran free and easy, almost effortlessly and with no strain. His long lean frame, despite the 266 lbs, was fluid and in control. Kiwi ran a 1.66 in the first ten yards, a very respectable speed for his size. His 20 yard shuttle time of 4.15 led all DE prospects, including Manny Lawson. Kiwi’s 7.29 in the three cone drill was middle of the road among elite prospects. His broad jump was 10’ was in the top 5 for his position, but it seems like more could have been expected from someone of his length in that drill.

    Negatives.
    Kiwi throughout showed a lack of explosion strength. This explains the weak base he sometimes plays with against top competition, a lack of power and balance. During the season he could be washed off the ball and pushed up field out of the play with surprising regularity. This lack of a strong base showed in his lack of explosion in bullrushing and difficulty in leveraging OTs with his arms, and why he was dominated by D. Ferguson at the Senior Bowl. Evidence of this lack of explosion is Kiwi's meager 17 reps of 225 lbs. This can in part be explained by his extremely long arms, but not entirely. Also, Kiwi had a weak 32†vertical, demonstrating a lack of explosion in his base as well. That is why he sometimes gets pushed around against top competition.

    Intangibles
    Kiwi is a proud leader of excellent character who turned himself from a 190 lb weakling into a top NFL prospect in 4 years. He stayed in school for his senior year out of commitment to his teammates and his program as it switched from the Big East to the ACC. He played hurt with a knee injury throughout the year, despite the fact he knew the bad film could hurt his draft stock.

    Overall.
    Kiwanuka is still developing physically. With some explosion training in the weight room by year three of his career he could be a 6’6’’ 280 lb terror. However, from a patriots perspective, you wonder if a player of that size, lacking the innate quick twitch athleticism of a Manny Lawson or Kamerion Wimbley, could be effective at OLB. While his heart, leadership and dedication make him an attractive prospect, Kiwi is a project pick who needs to be nurtured for 2-3 years. By then with the proper weight training and coaching he could be a superstar player as a 4-3 DE. I think Manny Lawson is the better prospect because he already possesses the explosive athleticism that Kiwi lacks, and is more likely to impact in the first 1-2 years at 3-4 OLB.
  2. p8ryts

    p8ryts Rookie

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    He just doesn't seem special

    I saw a few BC games, and if he had a straight speed rush or pursuit from behind he showed up. Other than that he just didn't seem impressive. Compare that to Mario Williams who just jumps out at you when you see him play. Mathias has the speed but does he have the power and technique? Can he learn it? He has the physique to be a Willie McGinest, but is he that kind of football player?
  3. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rookie

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    i cn't believe a 32" verticle is weak!!! my verticle's about 3.2".
  4. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Very informative. Thanks Pony.
  5. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    I think that for those exact reasons, Kiwanuka will go in early round 2. Lawson and Wimbley get picked ahead of him because, while all 3 are lacking against the run, Lawson and Wimbley have better speed numbers and may be better suited for the 3-4 OLB position that Kiwi is.

    I think Houston, the Jets and the Raiders will be lining up to draft this guy, and someboody may even trade up to the last 5 picks of round 1 for him.
  6. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    OLB for the Pats is really the one position that needs a superior athlete, because that position is called upon to do so many different things. (Pass rush, cover, run support, take on pulling OGs and TEs on sweeps, etc.) Explosion is a big part of that position. I'm really having a hard time projecting Winberly, Kiwi, or Lawson in that position.
  7. primetime

    primetime Rookie

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    #18 Jersey

    Lawson, yes. Kiwanuka, no.

    I've seen the guy play alot at BC. He's a beast physically, and probably a great interview. All the tools in the world. But his production wasn't amazing in college and he'd disappear for games on end. He's not going to be a special pro. He might be solid, but he'll never jump out. At least, that's how I see it. He's better off with his hand on the ground, too. BC used him in coverage on occasion and he was barely adequate. He won't be a Patriot after the draft.
  8. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve Rookie

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    I see Kiwi not fitting the mold, either and dropping to the second round. Which is where we will use our comp pick from Cleveland (for tampering with DG :D ) to select Kiwi as a future ILB! Obviously a project. But, and I cant find the quote from BB to save me here, Didn't BB once say what he is looking for is a 6'7" 270# guy who can jump real high and run real fast to draft as a ILB? Here he is.

    BTW, if someone can find the quote, I would appreciate the link, I wanna make it my new signature line.
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