2017 NFL Draft

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Zach Diles

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 240 | College: Kansas State
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This defensive fireplug is a physical tackler with great read-and-diagnose skills. After the Wildcats went through a trying season in 2005, the new coaching staff placed the defensive signal calling duties into the capable hands of Diles, and the result was a postseason berth in the Texas Bowl.

Diles attended Tulare High School, but did not gain any recognition on the football field. When the recruits failed to come knocking on his door, he enrolled at Fresno City College in 2003. During his two-year career, he totaled 130 tackles, with 60 stops as a freshman and 70 more as a sophomore. The team compiled an 8-2 record during the 2003 season and went 8-3 while winning the Central Valley Conference title in 2004. That season, Diles was named to the All-CVC squad.

Despite not starting any of 11 games in 2005 at Kansas State, Diles finished fourth on the team with 50 tackles (27 solos), adding two sacks, a pair of quarterback pressures, 5.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and three forced fumbles.

Diles earned All-Big 12 honorable mention from the league's coaches in 2006. He ranked second on the team and eighth in the conference with 99 tackles (38 solos) while starting all 13 games at middle linebacker. He added 3.5 sacks with two pressures and was credited with 7.5 stops for losses. He recovered one fumble, deflected two passes and intercepted another.

In 24 games at Kansas State, Diles started 13 contests. He produced 149 tackles (65 solos) with 5.5 sacks for minus-37 yards, 13 stops for losses of 57 yards and four pressures. He caused three fumbles, recovered another, knocked down two passes and had one interception.


Positives: Shorter than ideal, but has good upper body muscle development with thick thighs and neck and broad shoulders … Runs with a normal stride, showing an adequate burst and change of direction agility … Moves well laterally and keeps his feet in traffic … Does a good job of riding contact down the line and takes proper angles in attempts to close … Has adequate acceleration at the point of attack, but compensates by reading his keys and diagnosing quickly … Efficient dropping off in the zone, using his hands well while taking on blocks … Has the functional short-area burst to chase down plays, with the lateral agility to zero in on ball carriers on the perimeter … Recognizes the plays quickly and shows the strength to stack at the point of attack vs. the lead blocker in run force … Shows good hand placement and will deliver a solid jolt to escape combo blocks … Uses rip-and-swim moves to cross face and flush out the trash in the backfield and is efficient attacking quarterbacks from the backside, lowering his shoulders and driving with his legs to jolt his man back … Has the range needed to make the smooth transition out of his backpedal and the short-area quickness to mirror the tight end's moves … Stays low in his pads to generate pop on contact and is very good slipping under blocks and avoiding trash to make plays in the backfield … Comes out of his breaks with no wasted steps and demonstrates good timing competing for jump balls.

Negatives: Needs to add some lower body strength to prevent the larger blockers from riding him wide and engulfing him … While he does a good job of protecting his feet, he needs to take more forceful arm swipes to keep the linemen at bay … Works better in the open, as he's a bit under-sized, causing him to get bounced around in tight quarters … Relies too much on his upper body strength, trying to maul the blockers rather than elude … When in isolated situations, he will get a little too upright trying to overpower, causing him to lose balance … Tries to avoid blockers too much, taking a wide loop to the quarterback (better when taking a short path to the ball through the free lanes).

Compares To: D.D. LEWIS-ex-Seattle … Like Lewis, Diles is not going to make flashy plays, but he's a smart, instinctive player who compensates for a lack of size and playing speed with good read-and-react ability. He sees the action in front of him well, but is best making plays on the move, as he will get engulfed by the bigger blockers at the X's. He has the sideline range needed to play in the 3-4 alignment, but could be removed in obvious passing situations in a 4-3 alignment due to size issues.

Career Notes

During his entire collegiate career, Diles registered 279 tackles (135 solos).

2006 Season

All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention by the league's coaches … Ranked second on the team and eighth in the league with a career-high 99 tackles (38 solos), including 3.5 sacks for minus 23 yards, 7.5 stops for losses of 34 yards and a pair of quarterback pressures … Deflected two passes and intercepted another … Also recovered a fumble.

2006 Game Analysis

Illinois State … In his first start as a Wildcat, he posted ten tackles (6 solos) with a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage and also picked off a pass.

Marshall … Posted five tackles (2 solos) with an 8-yard sack and had two stops for losses of 14 yards, taking down tailback Ahmad Bradshaw for 6-yard loss on a fourth down play in the third quarter.

Louisville … Followed with a six-tackle performance.

Baylor … Generated two third-down pressures and seven tackles.

Oklahoma State … Delivered eleven tackles, including ten solo hits.

Nebraska … Posted ten tackles (4 solos).

Missouri … Recovered a fumble, advancing the ball 43 yards for a touchdown and was in on six tackles (3 solos).

Iowa State … Credited with a pair of sacks for minus 13 yards and twelve tackles (10 solos).

Texas … Produced twelve tackles, the fifth time he totaled double digit hits in 2006.

Kansas … Assisted on a 4-yard sack and made five tackles.

Rutgers (Texas Bowl) … Closed out his career with seven tackles and a pass deflection.

2005 Season

Played in 11 games as a reserve middle linebacker, finishing fourth on the team with 50 tackles (27 solos) … Had two sacks for minus 14 yards, 5.5 stops for losses of 23 yards and two pressures … Caused three fumbles.

2005 Game Analysis

Had four tackles and assisted on a stop for a loss vs. North Texas … Posted eleven tackles with a stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. Oklahoma … Delivered six tackles (4 solos) with a 6-yard sack of QB Reggie McNeal, causing a fumble on the play while adding another stop for a 6-yard loss vs. Texas A&M … Had nine tackles (5 solos), an 8-yard sack, a forced fumble and a pressure in the Iowa State clash … Credited with a pressure, a forced fumble, five tackles and a stop for a loss vs. Nebraska … finished his first season with the Wildcats by making seven tackles (4 solos) and a stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. Missouri.

Injury Report

No injuries reported.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.76 in the 40-yard dash (wind-aided) … 4.83 40-yard dash (against the wind) … Bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times … 4.22 20-yard shuttle … 7.16 three-cone drill … 33.5-inch vertical jump … 9'5" broad jump.

Combine: Did not receive an invitation.

Junior College

Attended Fresno City College from 2003-04 … During his two-year career, he totaled 130 tackles, with 60 stops as a freshman and 70 more as a sophomore … The team compiled an 8-2 record during the 2003 campaign and went 8-3 while winning the Central Valley Conference title in 2004 … That season, Diles was named to the All-CVC squad.

High School

Attended Tulare (Calif.) High School, but did not gain any recognition on the football field.


Social Science major … Son of Bonita Weaver and Larry Diles … Born Zachary Lee Diles on 6/11/85 … Resides in Tulare, California.


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