AJ Hawk  LB  Ohio St

Strengths

AJ has good size and speed and shows excellent leadership qualities.  He can play all three LB positions and is an every down LB.  He has an excellent burst to the ball and is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler.  AJ makes the players around him better and is an impact player.

 

Needs to Improve

He is thin at the hips so Iím guessing he is not going to get much bigger than he is right now.  If you use him in the middle, then you need to use a defensive system that has some big boys in front of him so that he can flow to the play and not have to take on and shed blockers.  The same system Lewis and Vilma play in.

 

Talent Board Round   1

There are some excellent LBís in this draft, but you come to me to find out why AJ is the best of them.  You do this because you know Iím the only one that will be able to tell you the one thing that makes AJ better than the others and here it is:  AJ has the ability to lead and to follow.  Not many people in life have this ability, but AJ does.  Most people are either leaders or followers, but not both.  Iím sure youíre confused by now, so let me put this in perspective for you.  AJ understands situational football.  Add this to his enormous talent and heart and you have a top five pick in the draft.  AJ understands that if a teammate is having an outstanding game, he doesnít have to outshine that teammate.  He also knows that at some point, he will be needed to make an impact play.  He will be ready when the need arises.  He is kind of like a point guard on a basketball team thatís the best player on his team.  He understands that he canít do it by himself game in and game out so he makes sure that other players on the team get better in their roles.  Before the juniors declare this year, Iím telling you that AJ is a top five pick that might drop; however, I bet he doesnít drop out of the top ten of this draft.  He is a player you build a defense around.  He is a player that you win Super Bowls with and he is a player that will stop you from winning a Super Bowl.  AJ is the best LB in this draft because he can play all three LB positions, is a leader, understands situational football, has tremendous talent and heart and knows in the middle of a game when to lead and when to follow.
by Drew Boylhart

THR

November 2005