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Old 10-24-2011, 07:38 PM    (permalink
JBCX
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Default Donta Hightower, ILB, Alabama

Every time I watch Alabama on defense, I come away more impressed with their ILB Donta Hightower than with OLB Courtney Upshaw. Is this the best linebacker on the 'Bama defense?

Similarly, how does he rank among the ILB/MLB prospects in the entire nation? I think he might be a better prospect than Manti Teo or Vontaze Burfict. He seems to play more disciplined than Burfict, and seems to be a better athlete than Teo.
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:47 PM    (permalink
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Hightower always comes off slow and late to the ball to me.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:30 AM    (permalink
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IDK if he's declared yet. I've been a fan of Hightower through out his career. But even as a fan of his I kinda feel like most of the time he's not going all out. Every now and then he makes a big play. But a lot of the times when I see him I feel he's doing a little more than jogging and not going 110% to make the tackle/play unless it's a blitz or he's lined up on the line. I've watched a lot of him during his time in Tuscaloosa. Hard to find more impressive looking LBs from a pure physicality standpoint. But I just feel he's capable of more and doesn't really play all the way up to his ability. Am I missing something?

If he does come out, based on his body of work and not just his measurables, is he a true 1st rounder? I'm on the fence about him being a 1st rounder if he does come out. I'm sure he could be because his measureables are outstanding and there are GMs out there that may look at his body, strength, speed, athleticism and figure they can coach up whatever he's missing on film. But when I watched him on TV, I see a kid with high 1st round measurables but maybe 2nd round game/effort. Am I missing something?
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:40 AM    (permalink
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He's probably best as being the 3rd man in a rotational role with the 2 other starting ILB's in a 3-4 scheme. That's why I'd love him on the Cowboys because we already have Sean Lee and Bruce Carter.

Hightower isn't the fasted guy in the world, but he brings a lot to the table. His size is incredible, he has great pass rushing ability for an inside linebacker, and he comes from a winning program that had a great defense. Intangibles like that go unnoticed. He obviously knows what it takes.

I doubt he'll be a perennial all-pro, but in the 2nd round he will be a hell of a pick. He would be a great Robin to someone else's Batman in a 3-4. He'd thrive in a situation like NaVarro Bowman is next to Patrick Willis. He'd also work perfectly in a 3 man rotation at ILB in a 3-4 scheme. I don't know how high you can spend a pick on that though, but I'd love for the Cowboys to take him.

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Old 01-11-2012, 01:53 PM    (permalink
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He's probably best as being the 3rd man in a rotational role with the 2 other starting ILB's in a 3-4 scheme. That's why I'd love him on the Cowboys because we already have Sean Lee and Bruce Carter.

Hightower isn't the fasted guy in the world, but he brings a lot to the table. His size is incredible, he has great pass rushing ability for an inside linebacker, and he comes from a winning program that had a great defense. Intangibles like that go unnoticed. He obviously knows what it takes.

I doubt he'll be a perennial all-pro, but in the 2nd round he will be a hell of a pick. He would be a great Robin to someone else's Batman in a 3-4. He'd thrive in a situation like NaVarro Bowman is next to Patrick Willis. He'd also work perfectly in a 3 man rotation at ILB in a 3-4 scheme. I don't know how high you can spend a pick on that though, but I'd love for the Cowboys to take him.
Poor man's Lawrence Timmons? A pass rushing/run stuffing ILB/OLB tweener in a 34?
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:12 PM    (permalink
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Hightower always comes off slow and late to the ball to me.
I very much so agree
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:36 PM    (permalink
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Poor man's Lawrence Timmons? A pass rushing/run stuffing ILB/OLB tweener in a 34?
Well if thats the case, im fine with the steelers drafting him and putting him next to Timmons
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:52 PM    (permalink
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I'd actually switch Hightower to 3-4 OLB like the 49ers did with Ahmad Brooks.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:54 PM    (permalink
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Where do you guys see him in a 4-3, if at all? I haven't gotten to see a lot of him, but conceptually, a solid MLB who can rush the passer on 3rd down(even though with Von and Doom that's not really a need, no such thing as too many pass rushers) sounds pretty good to me if there's no one better available at that spot.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:55 PM    (permalink
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Where do you guys see him in a 4-3, if at all? I haven't gotten to see a lot of him, but conceptually, a solid MLB who can rush the passer on 3rd down(even though with Von and Doom that's not really a need, no such thing as too many pass rushers) sounds pretty good to me if there's no one better available at that spot.
Not a Nate Irving fan? I loved Nate last year.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:58 PM    (permalink
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i love him as a guy to play next to timmons. he has the size to take on guards that timmons didnt have coming into the league but he could also kick outside and even play DE on 3rd down...i think he could be great on the steelers
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:05 PM    (permalink
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I very much so agree
Count me in on this as well; Hightower is slow off the snap and mails it in a little bit too often.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:24 PM    (permalink
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I'm just always leery of guys like this. Not a bad player by any means, but his lack of speed could be really exposed in the NFL. Especially if there's effort concerns as some have mentioned.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:55 PM    (permalink
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I'm just always leery of guys like this. Not a bad player by any means, but his lack of speed could be really exposed in the NFL. Especially if there's effort concerns as some have mentioned.
I think there is a risk of overevaluating guys off great college teams. Brandon Spikes comes to mind. He was great in college but looks too slow to be effective.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:24 PM    (permalink
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I am a steeler fan and I don't want him. I don't think he can play on passing downs. I don't think you can afford to draft two down ILB in round one anymore.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:36 PM    (permalink
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Dude is going to get TORCHED in the NFL in coverage. Try imagining Hightower covering a Dustin Keller or Jimmy Graham down the seam. It's not a pretty visual.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:03 PM    (permalink
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Before the knee injury, Hightower had great speed for his size. Anything from his 2010 season I wouldn't take as his full "talent".
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:10 PM    (permalink
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I think there is a risk of overevaluating guys off great college teams. Brandon Spikes comes to mind. He was great in college but looks too slow to be effective.
He's a really good 2 down LB. He could be a "secret weapon" for the Patriots against the Broncos. He's a great blitzer and tackler. He may be built for stopping Tebow and the option. He saw it for years at Florida.

The only problem is that you have to put Dane Fletcher in on the other downs. If Spikes could play OLB, he'd be exactly what NE needs.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:58 PM    (permalink
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I like him better than Upshaw, but I'm a liiiiittle leery of both. Upshaw should be a 4-3 DE and Hightower...well I can really like Hightower as a 3-4 LB, especially if his workout numbers are strong.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:09 AM    (permalink
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Dude is going to get TORCHED in the NFL in coverage. Try imagining Hightower covering a Dustin Keller or Jimmy Graham down the seam. It's not a pretty visual.
Dude, what ILB in the world could cover them with the rules in today's NFL? None. Asking Hightower or any ILB to cover them is just idiotic by a defensive coach. With the increased athleticism of guys like that and the rules that favor the offense, obviously Hightower or any ILB would get embarrassed by them.

Hightower isn't going to be Ray Lewis in his prime, but he will be a productive NFL player who you can rely on to make the tackle.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:36 AM    (permalink
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Dude is going to get TORCHED in the NFL in coverage. Try imagining Hightower covering a Dustin Keller or Jimmy Graham down the seam. It's not a pretty visual.
thats why we have timmons and why i think he compliments him. Hes a good instinct player, and im not sure he has brandon spikes bad speed even if he does time on the slow side
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:45 PM    (permalink
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Upshaw is definitely the better pass rusher and solid against the run, making him a first rounder. How high, that will be decided at the combine.
Hightower is a solid 2nd rounder, who I see playing on the inside at ILB or MLB.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:56 PM    (permalink
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I think a lot of you are underestimating how much his stock could die at the Combine when he runs 4.9 or so.

Brandon Spikes ran a near 5.0 and proceeded to go to NE at the end of the second round.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:13 PM    (permalink
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Dude, what ILB in the world could cover them with the rules in today's NFL? None. Asking Hightower or any ILB to cover them is just idiotic by a defensive coach. With the increased athleticism of guys like that and the rules that favor the offense, obviously Hightower or any ILB would get embarrassed by them.

Hightower isn't going to be Ray Lewis in his prime, but he will be a productive NFL player who you can rely on to make the tackle.
There are a plurality of NFL linebackers who can line up and cover the athletic TEs which dominate the NFL. Hell, there are several linebackers in this draft ahead of Hightower capable of doing just that. Fact is, the kid just doesn't have the overall athleticism to excel in coverage in the NFL.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:49 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by descendency View Post
I think a lot of you are underestimating how much his stock could die at the Combine when he runs 4.9 or so.

Brandon Spikes ran a near 5.0 and proceeded to go to NE at the end of the second round.
brandon spikes was also rumored to be a 5th round guy considering he ran an ali highsmith-like poor time and he was still a second round pick.

hightower is a great inside blitzer and can rush the passer....something that wasnt really spikes strong suit
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