Photo of Hau'oli Kikaha
Drafted By: Saints
  • Round 2
  • Pick 12
  • Overall 44
Grade
5.65 ?

Draft Analysis:

"The Washington football team had a few guys on defense last year. Kikaha led the nation in sacks. He gets to the quarterback in a variety of ways. His effort is outstanding. You're drafting him to get to the quarterback" -- Daniel Jeremiah

  • 6'2" Height
  • 32 1/2" Arm Length
  • 253LBS. Weight
  • 9 5/8" Hands

Overview

Changed last name from Jamora to Kikaha -- which is his mother's last name -- prior to 2013 season. Completed dominant two-year run that saw him earn first-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2014 and second-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2013. Combined for 32 sacks, 40 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles during that stretch, starting all 27 games played. Finished 2014 with 19 sacks, including at least one in 13 of 14 games. Started first four games as freshman in 2011, but missed final nine after tearing ACL. Granted medical redshirt in 2012 after tearing ACL again in fall camp. In high school, member of team that finished as runner-up to state champion. Played defensive end and tight end. Also competed in judo and wrestling, winning league championship in judo.


Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.9 seconds
Vertical jump: 34 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 4 inches
Short shuttle: 4.33 seconds
3-cone: 7.13 seconds
Bench: 20 reps of 225 pounds

Analysis

Strengths

Relentless. Bends the edge hard. Plays with his hand on the ground and stands up. Scheme versatile. Best fit is in 3-4. Intelligent player. Saw a streak of 14 consecutive games with a sack broken at Arizona in 2014. Excellent with his hands, possessing a variety of techniques. Was a judo champion when he was younger and a high school wrestler, so he understands hand placement and leverage. Good change of direction. Maintains low center of gravity on his rush without losing his wheels. Ability to recover and get back into a play.

Weaknesses

Can get swallowed up in the run game at defensive end. Has had knee issues in prior seasons. Perceived as a one-trick pony (pass-rush specialist). Upfield specialist and doesn't set the edge consistently. Needs work on playing consistently in space. Gets overly aggressive at times. Has had two ACL injuries and medicals will need to be scrutinized.

Draft Projection

Round 2 or 3

NFL Comparison

Rob Ninkovich

Bottom Line

Kikaha is the most accomplished pure pass rusher in this draft class. Relies on a relentless motor off the edge more than athleticism. He has an elite determination to get to the quarterback. While he seems to specialize in just rushing the passer, Kikaha has the power, hands and frame to improve against the run. It might take some work to get fully comfortable as a stand-up 3-4 OLB, but Kikaha is a very safe draft prospect as long as his medicals check out.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.

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