There is perhaps no better pure pass rusher in this class than Washington’s outside linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha. He’s got lightning quick hands from being a judo champion and high school wrestler. He uses that speed and agility to net 36 total sacks over his last two years at Washington. He’s aggressive, tough and relentless, three traits that are great in a pass rusher.
However, he’s not nearly as effective when used against the run game. Too often, he seems consumed by getting to the quarterback or gets swallowed up in blocks and gets taken out of run plays. He also has a fairly scary injury history, as he’s torn the ACL in his left knee twice. There will be questions about his ability to stay healthy at the NFL level.
Hau’oli Kikaha missed the combine due to illness, but should be able to show off his skills on April 2nd during Washington’s pro day. His current limitations could make some teams see him as a project, but a team searching for a pass rusher could draft him and hope to develop the other parts of his game. If they can succeed at that, they could have a real gem on their hands.
Jan 2, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies linebacker Hau
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 253 pounds
- Arm Length: 32 1/2″
- Hand Size: 9 5/8″
- 40 Yard Dash: N/A
- Bench Press: N/A
- Vertical Jump: N/A
- Broad Jump: N/A
- 3 Cone Drill: N/A
- 20 Yard Shuttle: N/A
Hau’oli Kikaha is the #70 overall prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft according to CBS Sports and is their #5 outside linebacker available in the draft class. He is projected to be a late second to early third round draft pick.
NFL Player Comparison
Fit For The Vikings
Minnesota could look for competition at the linebacker position, but Hau’oli Kikaha’s potential as a defensive end could make him a bad fit for the system. While he’s shown some success when lined up with the defensive line, he is much more effective when standing up.
While Hau’oli Kikaha is an excellent pass rusher, I can’t see how Minnesota would use him in a way that could maximize his skill set. I feel like Minnesota will be looking for interior linebackers if they are going to select one early, and Kikaha would be a bit of a reach for Minnesota’s second round selection, in my opinion.
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