Dont'a Hightower NFL Draft prospect notes

Dont'a Hightower
6'4, 260 pounds | Linebacker | Alabama

First words:
Coming from Nick Saban's pro-style 3-4, Dont'a Hightower is the kind of linebacker that should be able to make a contribution early in his career. He's a classic downhill power middle linebacker that can be a force against the run. He enters his junior season with 29 starts to his name, with 149 tackles, 10 tackles for loss a sack and 17 quarterback hurries. Hightower plays with a lot of strength and can hold his area or push the pocket. He's also shown he can get into the backfield to get after the quarterback.  He's also shown his versatility. In 2009, Alabama used Hightower as the team's Jack linebacker to utilize his ability off the edge. While Hightower may never be an elite pass rush threat because he's a little stiff in the hips, his first step is a good one. If Hightower can remain injury free, there's no reason he shouldn't be one of the top linebackers whenever he decides to enter the draft.

Games viewed: (All 2010) Penn State, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Michigan State

Bold statement: Hightower is the 2011 version of Rey Maualuga – a powerful inside linebacker who has some trouble moving around.

Dont'a Hightower
6'4, 260 pounds | Linebacker | Alabama

Notes:


• Is a powerful and imposing physical presence and has the strength to easily shed blockers. Getting through a pile isn't an issue for Hightower.

• Where is deficient is moving around sideline-to-sideline to make plays. He's much of a straight ahead player who struggles to open up his hips and get around the field.

• Although he's mostly played at the inside, Hightower has shown in the past that he can get after the passer. While he doesn't have an array of pass rush moves, he can rely on his power to beat blockers.

• Displays good but not elite or great instincts as an inside linebacker. The expectation should be that he'll be much improved in this area as a junior.

• Hightower shows his athleticism with his short-area quickness. For a big linebacker, it's rare to see the quick-twitch movements like Hightower possesses.

• Is lacking in pass coverage. That's partially due to not being used in that capacity, but Hightower may not have the balance and agility to run with tight ends and running backs.

• Took a medical redshirt in 2009 after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the fourth game of the year.

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