Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB

School: Washington  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Laie, HI
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 253 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Player Overview

Washington's all-time leading sack artist, Kikaha, who changed his last name from "Jamora" to "Kikaha" prior to his junior season, is one of the most accomplished and talented pass rushers in the 2015 draft class. He does a great job winning the edge and closing down the pocket with arc speed and outstanding effort in pursuit, making plays most others don't because of his pure hustle and competitive drive. Kikaha's lack of functional strength shows against the run and he lacks a power element as a rusher, but he is terrific in space, finding ways to get to the quarterback. He was asked to cut it loose and attack the pocket every play at Washington and will face some growing pains in the NFL with added responsibilities, but he has the tools to be valuable and versatile rusher best in a 3-4 defense.

Moved to outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense of Chris Petersen as a senior. saw action as a true freshman (seven starts), but missed almost all of the next two seasons (2011-12) due to two ACL tears, both to his left knee.

He returned healthy in 2013 as a junior and finished among the Pac-12 leaders in sacks (13), also leading the Huskies in tackles for loss (15.5) and forced fumbles (three).

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Explosive first step and arc speed to get around the edge with flexible body control and balance to flatten. Stays low with natural dip, using his hands to slap away blockers' jabs without slowing his momentum. Tough to contain in space and rarely stops his feet, crossing the face of blockers and using his lower body quickness to work around bodies. Fluid change of direction skills to make sharp 90-degree turns with the loose hips to turn and play in coverage - will drop and cover in short zones with natural ball awareness and proximity feel. Strong wrists and arrives with aggressive angles and violent intentions, tuning up his target. Nice job on the edges to hold the corner and close off the outside, tracking well to work off contact and pursue. Plays assignment sound football with elite effort and competitiveness. Fiery, pesky motor that simply doesn't quit. Experienced in a two and three-point stance at left and right defensive end, playing mostly the 4i technique as an underclassman before moving to "BUCK" linebacker as a senior - also played on special teams coverages as a senior. Highly productive and one of NCAA's top pass rushers the last two seasons, leaving Washington with the school record for sacks (36.0).

WEAKNESSES: Solid build and muscle tone, but lacks ideal body strength and can be pushed off his path at times by blockers. Too easily slowed and needs space to be effective, lacking the length to live in a phone booth. Doesn't have the power to consistently shed once engaged and won't overwhelm with his upper body strength. Can be run at and controlled in the run game, too easily moved from his spot. Moves well, but not a twitchy athlete. Tends to get lazy with his tackling technique at times and needs to be a more consistent finisher. Too many ankle biting tackle attempts, needs to better break down on the move. Needs to improve his anticipation and instincts in coverage. Strong durability concerns after tearing the ACL in his left knee twice (Sept. 2011, Aug. 2012).

--Dane Brugler

COMPARES TO: Rob Ninkovich, Patriots -- While they need to be schemed correctly to utilize their skills, Kikaha, like Ninkovich, is effective with natural rush skills and a motor that won't quit.

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