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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Xavier Adibi, OLB

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 232 | College: Virginia Tech
 
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Overview

An invaluable performer for the Hokies throughout his career, Xavier Adibi joined Vince Hall in forming one of the best linebacker tandems in college football. The duo would go on to record 695 tackles, 20 1/2 quarterback sacks, 60 stops behind the line of scrimmage and 52 pressures during their time together at Tech.

With his excellent range and quickness, Adibi will probably shift to outside linebacker in the NFL. Alert when playing zone coverage, Adibi gets excellent depth on his pass drops, and a team could choose to convert him to strong safety.

At Phoebus High School, Adibi was named an All-American by Prep Star as a defensive lineman and an All-American by Super Prep as a linebacker. The 2002 AAA first-team All-State selection by the Associated Press as a defensive lineman, he also earned first-team and Defensive Player of the Year honors on the 2002 AAA coaches All-State team. He received VHSCA All-Eastern Region and Newport News Daily Press All-Star Team honors as a defensive lineman as a senior. He was also a three-time Daily Press All-Star.

Adibi was rated the 12th-best player in the Mid-Atlantic region and the top prospect in the state of Virginia by Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report. He was ranked the best player in Virginia by The Roanoke Times and rated the fourth-best linebacker in the nation and the premier player in Virginia by Super Prep. He added first-team All-Region accolades, along with picking up first-team AAA Coaches and Associated Press All-State recognition at defensive end as a junior.

Adibi helped his team to back-to-back Group AAA championships, leading a Phantoms' defense that held opponents to fewer than five points a game. He finished with a team-best 13 1/2 sacks and 100-plus tackles, including 31 for loss as a senior, as he also rushed for 575 yards and 11 touchdowns at fullback.

Adibi enrolled at Virginia Tech in 2003, spending the season on the scout team and was a member of the traveling squad, as his brother, Nathaniel, starred as a defensive end for the Hokies. Xavier Adibi got on the field for seven games as a reserve inside linebacker in 2004, missing six contests after he underwent surgery to repair a torn right biceps muscle, an injury suffered in the season opener vs. Southern California.

He would finish the season by posting 25 tackles (21 solo), two sacks and 4 1/2 stops for losses. He also caused a fumble and intercepted a pass. In 2005, Adibi took over right inside linebacker chores. He finished fourth on the squad with 69 tackles (28 solo) in 13 games, also coming up with three sacks and seven stops behind the line of scrimmage. He deflected four passes and picked off two others, returning one 25 yards for a touchdown.

As a junior, Adibi received All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team honors. He ranked second on the squad with 82 tackles (29 solo) in 13 contests at right inside line-backer. He delivered three sacks with 6 1/2 stops for losses, five pressures and three forced fumbles. He recovered a fumble for a touchdown, gained 49 yards on three interception returns and broke up three passes.

With Vince Hall injured for part of the season, Adibi handled the leadership role on the nation's fourth-ranked defensive unit. He led the team with a career-high 115 tackles (55 solo), adding three sacks and a team-high 12 stops for losses. He also caused a fumble, deflected five passes and intercepted two others, returning one for a touchdown. That performance earned him All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors.

Asked about his breakout 2007 season, Adibi responded, "Plays are happening very slowly for me. I can read much, much quicker before the snap. My run-pass read is much quicker than it's ever been. I am just getting off the ball and getting into my pass drops and getting to the line and getting into my gaps faster. I am feeling real free right now."

"He's got great speed," said Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster. "That's the first asset. He's physical. He's got the ability to be a complete linebacker. That means they don't have to take him out after first or second down. Besides his ability, he has a good football IQ. I think they will like that. He knows how it works and will be a good team guy."

Analysis

Positives: Has a tight midsection, very long arms, with a good reach and natural hands to extend and catch the ball outside his frame … Has improved his overall bulk, but still has room on his frame for more weight without having it impact his quickness … Has very good hip flexibility and change-of-direction skills, getting good depth on his pass drops for a potential shift to weak-side linebacker or strong safety … Lacks the strength to play in the middle or on the strong side, but will combat at the point of attack … Has a sudden first step and balance to slip past and avoid blockers in traffic … Plays with good football intelligence and awareness but needs to read the snap count better to prevent penalties … Plays until the whistle and shows toughness taking on bigger blockers … Has a motor for pursuit and downfield involvement, demonstrating the lateral movement and change-of-direction agility to flow from sideline to sideline … Leads by example and can handle hard coaching … Instinctive player who finds a way to the ball, as he can get to the line with suddenness, taking on the inside run with his shoulder downhill … Might be a bit slow at times to see the play develop, but once he locates the ball, he closes with good urgency … Is much better reading hats and tracking the ball when aligned outside than when working through trash inside … Slips blockers on plays that flow away from him and recognizes and reacts quickly to runs to the outside … Works through traffic aggressively, flashing lateral quickness, along with the quickness to cover tight ends and receivers in the slot … Struggles to shed when blitzing inside, but has the burst coming off the edge to generate backside pursuit … Can get covered up by the bigger blockers when playing inside, but shows good intent playing off blocks to make plays in space … Has improved his recovery ability, whereas he used to overrun and lose leverage on outside plays … Takes good angles and is quick to close when he gets a clean lane to the ball … Runs to the ball well and plays with good effort … Not a strong face-up tackler, but has had success taking a side in his chase … Has the body control to fit in space … Demonstrates the burst to close and times leaps well to break up passes … Has the flexible hips and quick feet to mirror a receiver's breaks … Has loose hips to flip with speed to get deep and cover the middle of the field … Possess the natural hands to make plays in front of him and shows good ball skills to make the interception … Has the speed to mirror receivers on deep routes and shows the feet to stay tight with the opponent working underneath … Focuses on the quarterback's eyes during his pass drop, using his quickness to get proper depth … Has a feel for his area in pass coverage, with the range to cover the field, as he shows alertness in zone coverage, reacting quickly to throws … Uses his quickness and speed to squeeze the edge on blitzes … Has the speed to chase and close on the move … Solid on the punt unit and uses his speed to be a solid contributor on the coverage squads.

Negatives: Has added needed bulk to his frame, but has just adequate upper-body muscle development and smooth arms … Despite his weight-room strength, power does not always translate to the playing field and he needs to attack the ball with better pop on contact rather than arm tackle … Does not have the hand strength needed to reroute tight ends and backs in the passing game … Has good field vision, but is a bit slow reading and reacting to the play and must be quicker in his diagnostic skills … Gets tied up often when trying to engage the larger blockers and needs to be more active with his hands in attempts to shed … Even when he gets into position and stays low in his pads, he fails to generate enough force behind his hits to drive the ballcarrier back … Has to work on his tackle technique, as he does not always attack the outside leg of the ballcarrier and spends more time grabbing at the runner rather than driving through with his hits … Has good lateral agility, but needs to be more alert to his surroundings, as he will trip over bodies on the ground rather than side-stepping the trash … Better fit as an outside linebacker, where his speed would be put to better use, as he also struggles to sift through traffic when playing in the middle … More suited for weak-side than on the strong-side … Needs a free lane in order to pressure the pocket, as he gets ping-ponged often trying to shoot the inside gaps and he lacks the anchor to sit and clog the rush lanes … Must develop better counter moves and keep his hands inside his frame better when trying to disengage from blocks … Must be more alert to pre-snap movement and the cadence of the snap to reduce his off-side penalties … Gets a bit reckless in his pursuit and, while he has good foot speed, he takes false steps and needs to throttle down a bit to redirect when he outruns the play … More of a drag-down, ankle-biter as a tackler than one with classic wrap-up technique.

Compares To: MICHAEL BOLEY-Atlanta … Adibi's quickness and range will get him drafted earlier than his production, as was the case with Boley. While an inside linebacker in college, he will probably have to shift to weak-side linebacker in the NFL. He is not the most instinctive locating the ball to play in the middle and lacks good hand placement and punch to separate from blocks at the strong-side spot. He does have the loose hips to get depth in pass drops, and could make the move to strong safety. Reminds some of former Florida State linebacker Michael Boulware, who was drafted and converted to strong safety by the Seahawks. He's improved his overall bulk, but despite good weight-room numbers, he has yet to translate that strength to the football field. Still, Boley was not exactly a strongman himself when he entered the league, but developed into a solid weak-side linebacker.

Career Notes

In 47 games at Tech, Adibi started 40 contests … Recorded 291 tackles (133 solo) with 11 sacks for minus-34 yards, 30 stops for losses of 78 yards and 18 quarterback pressures … Caused five fumbles and recovered another that he advanced 35 yards for a touchdown … Deflected 12 passes and had eight interceptions for 170 yards in returns (21.2-yard average) with two touchdowns … Adibi became just the second linebacker in school history to earn first-team All-American honors (2007), joining Mike Widger (1968).

2007 Season

Earned All-American first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association … All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team pick … One of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, given to the nation's top collegiate lineman, and was one of 15 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year … Started all year at right inside linebacker, leading the team with a career-high 115 tackles (55 solo), including three sacks for minus-4 yards, as he also paced the Hokies with 12 stops for losses of 23 yards … Added seven quarterback pressures and a forced fumble … Deflected five passes and picked off two others for 71 yards in returns, including a touchdown … Paced a unit that ranked third in the nation in scoring defense (16.07 yards per game), fourth in total defense (296.93 yards per game) and fifth in rush defense (86.64 ypg) … Registered at least 10 tackles in five games.

2007 Game Analysis

East Carolina … Posted 10 tackles (three solo) with a pressure and stopped tailback Chris Johnson for a 2-yard loss on a third quarter run up the middle.

Louisiana State … Adibi was one of the few bright spots in a 48-7 loss, coming up with nine tackles (7 solos), including a 1-yard sack of QB Matt Flynn on a third-&-11 snap at the LSU 46 early in the fourth quarter … "I wouldn't have thought in a thousand years that this would happen to this defense," Adibi told reporters after the game.

Ohio University … After the LSU debacle, Adibi called a players only meeting and it appeared to have worked in Tech's 28-7 win … He recorded eleven tackles (3 solos) with a sack and three stops for losses … The linebacker sacked QB Brad Bower for a 1-yard loss on a third-&-16 snap, forcing OU to punt midway through the first quarter … Later in the opening frame, he stopped Bower for a 3-yard loss on a third-&-2 run, again forcing the Bobcats to punt … "This was good for us," Adibi said. "This is what we needed, just to get back to doing what we do. Everybody just needed to calm down. All our goals are still in front of us."

William & Mary … Followed with just two assisted tackles on eighteen plays, but Adibi pressured QB Jake Phillips into throwing an incomplete pass on third-&-15 to kill W&M's first drive and he later joined Vince Hall in stopping Thomas Schonder for a 1-yard loss on a rushing attempt later in the first frame.

North Carolina … In a hard-fought 17-10 decision, Adibi collected a season-high fifteen tackles (4 solos) with a 2-yard sack, an interception and a pass deflection … He picked off a T.J. Yates pass for a 31-yard return, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Tech tailback Branden Ore late in the third quarter … On UNC's next series, Adibi sacked Yates for a 2-yard loss on third-&-6, forcing the Tar Heels to punt.

Clemson … Adibi registered ten tackles (9 solos) with a pass break-up and a pair of stops for minus 7 yards … He tackled tailback C.J. Spiller for a 6-yard loss on a third-&-3 run, forcing the Tigers to punt after the game-opening series … He killed another drive by taking down QB Cullen Harper on a third-&-8 run that netted just 2 yards at the start of the second quarter and later in that frame, he leveled Spiller for a 1-yard loss on a screen pass … "We've got to do our part," said Adibi, "Maybe pull a little more weight until the offense catches up with us. … We came into a hostile environment and won big on the road, against a good ACC team."

Boston College … Recorded nine tackles (3 solos) and batted away a pass.

Georgia Tech … Followed with seven hits (4 solos) and a pressure.

Florida State … Added nine tackles (4 solos), as he stopped tailback Antone Smith for no gain on a third-&-1 run near midfield, forcing FSU to punt after their game-opening drive …

He deflected a Drew Weatherford third-&-9 pass, as the Seminoles then settled for a 39-yard field goal late in the opening frame … In the second quarter, FSU again had to punt after Adibi took down Smith for a 1-yard loss on a third-&-8 run over left end.

Miami … Produced ten tackles (3 solos) and deflected one pass.

Virginia … Totaled five tackles (3 solos), including one that stopped Mikell Simpson for a 1-yard loss on an early third quarter screen pass.

Kansas (Orange Bowl) … Closed out his career with seven tackles (5 solos), causing a fumble when he stripped the ball from Brandon McAnderson on a first-&-goal rushing attempt with 2:41 left in the third quarter, but Kansas would recover the ball at the Tech 5.

2006 Season

All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team selection … Started all 13 games at right inside linebacker … Ranked second on the team with 82 tackles (29 solo) and came up with three sacks for minus-9 yards, 6 1/2 stops for losses of 18 total yards and five quarterback pressures … Caused three fumbles and recovered another that he returned 35 yards for a touchdown … Gained 49 yards on three interception returns (16.3-yard average) and had three pass deflections … Part of a team that led the nation in total defense (219.46 yards per game), scoring defense (11.0 points per game) and pass defense (128.23 ypg).

2006 Game Analysis

Intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards to set up Tech's first touchdown and led the team with eight tackles vs. North Carolina … Played every defensive down vs. Cincinnati, contributing 13 tackles and forced a fumble … Was in for every defensive play vs. Georgia Tech, making nine tackles, including a sack … Suffered a shoulder stinger in the Southern Mississippi game, but came back vs. Clemson and made five tackles with two pass breakups, as he also set up a touchdown with an interception … Earned ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors after posting nine tackles, two pressures, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception vs. Miami. His pick in that game set up Tech's winning touchdown … Was in on five tackles vs. Kent State … Picked up a fumble and returned it 35 yards for a key touchdown vs. Wake Forest … Set up Tech's first touchdown vs. Virginia by causing a fumble with a sack at the Virginia 12, earning ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors again, as he also contributed eight tackles and another tackle for loss … Had four tackles vs. Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

2005 Season

Shared the George Preas Award as the Most Valuable Defensive Player in the spring with Chris Ellis … Took over right inside linebacker duties, starting all 13 games while logging action in 592 plays … Ranked fourth on the squad with 69 tackles (28 solo), as he came up with three sacks for minus-7 yards, seven stops for losses of 17 yards and four pressures … Deflected four passes and intercepted two others for 50 yards in returns and a touchdown … Helped the Hokies lead the nation in total defense (247.62 yards per game), rank second in scoring defense (12.92 points per game), third in pass defense (154.23 ypg) and eighth in pass defense (93.38 ypg).

2005 Game Analysis

Made his first collegiate start in the opener vs. North Carolina State and contributed eight tackles … Had four tackles, including one for a loss vs. Duke … Picked off a pass and returned it 25 yards vs. Ohio University … Registered his second interception of the season vs. Georgia Tech and took it 25 yards for a touchdown … Had a personal-best 10 tackles at West Virginia, including a four-yard sack … Repeated those numbers vs. Maryland and picked up his third sack of the season in the Boston College game, adding seven tackles vs. both BC and Miami … Collected six tackles, including one for a loss vs. North Carolina … Was in on four tackles, including one behind the line vs. Florida State … Had four tackles in the Gator Bowl vs. Louisville.

2004 Season

Played in seven games as a reserve linebacker, missing six contests after he suffered a torn tendon in his right biceps vs. Southern California in the season opener … Finished with 25 tackles (21 solo), two sacks for minus-14 yards, 4 1/2 stops for losses of 20 yards and two pressures … Intercepted a pass and caused a fumble as the team ranked second in the nation in scoring defense (12.85 points per game) and fourth in total defense (268.0 yards per game).

2004 Game Analysis

Made a remarkable recovery and returned to the field vs. Georgia Tech, as he played 43 snaps in that game, recording eight tackles, seven of which were solo stops and had a forced fumble on his first drive, along with 2 1/2 tackles for loss and two sacks … Recorded his first career interception in the win over Maryland.

2003 Season

Redshirted as a freshman, performing on the scout team as a linebacker.

Injury Report

2003: Missed six games after he suffered a torn tendon in his right biceps vs. Southern California in the season opener, as the injury required surgery to repair.

2006: Missed most of the Southern Mississippi game (10/21) with a right shoulder stinger.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.48 in the 40-yard dash … 390-pound bench press … 515-pound squat … 280-pound power clean … 34 1/2-inch verticxal jump … 33 3/8-inch arm length … 9 5/8-inch hands … Right-handed … 13/20 Wonderlic score.

High School

Attended Phoebus (Hampton, Va.) High School, playing football for head coach Bill Dee … Named an All-American by Prep Star as a defensive lineman and an All-American by Super Prep as a linebacker … 2002 AAA first-team All-State selection by the Associated Press as a defensive lineman … Earned first-team and Defensive Player of the Year honors on the 2002 AAA coaches All-State team … Received VHSCA All-Eastern Region and Newport News Daily Press All-Star Team honors as a defensive lineman his final campaign … Three-time Daily Press All-Star … Rated the 12th-best player in the Mid-Atlantic region and the top prospect in the state of Virginia by Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report … Ranked the best player in Virginia by The Roanoke Times and rated the fourth-best linebacker in the nation and the premier player in Virginia by Super Prep … Added first-team All-Region accolades, along with picking up first-team AAA Coaches and Associated Press All-State recognition at defensive end as a junior … Helped his team to back-to-back Group AAA championships, leading a Phantoms' defense that held opponents to fewer than five points a game … Made a team-best 13 1/2 sacks and 100-plus tackles, including 31 for losses as a senior, as he also rushed for 575 yards and 11 touchdowns at fullback.

Personal

Apparel, Housing and Resource Management major … Brother of former Virginia Tech defensive end, Nathaniel Adibi (1999-2003), who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft and had other NFL stops in the Indianapolis and Tennessee training camps … Son of Leanne and Abiodun Adibi … Born Xavier Oyekola Adibi on 10/18/84 in Stillwater, Oklahoma … Resides in Hampton, Virginia.

 
 

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