Drew Boylhart February 2008
Ahtyba Rubin   DT   Iowa St
Ahtyba is a powerful DT who understands what his job is.  He handles the double team very well and can shed a guard or center like a cat playing with a mouse before they eat it.  He is very good at shutting down the running lanes between the tackles.  Ahtyba has solid lateral agility and does a good job pushing the pocket on passing downs.  He is an excellent 2-gap DT and the only true Nose Tackle in this draft.  I believe that every team in this draft needs to shut down the run and push the pocket no matter what defensive scheme they run.  Thatís what Ahtyba will do for you.
He is a big kid so he lacks the stamina to be an every down DT.  Ahtyba will not be running any plays down from behind unless he can reach the player in about three or four steps.  He does not use his hands very well and if he can improve that aspect of his game he will be able to shed blockers quicker, which will be a big advantage to him. 

I like this kid, but of course you guys know by now that I personally put a high priority on DTís like this because I believe that a good defense starts with stopping the run.  If New England had run the ball in a two TE formation in the Super Bowl this year they would have won the game.  They had the Giants on their heels and they were only behind 10 to 7 at the time.  You must be able to have multiple offenses and defenses in this day and age.  You must be able during a game to go to a 3-4 defense even if your basic defense is a 4-3.  Ahtyba is the only true DT who can play and stop the run in a 4-3 or a 3-4.  This kid understands his job and does it very well.  He is a space eater.  He is the type of player who allows your LBís to make all the tackles.  Ahtyba reminds me a lot of Pat Williams (DT Vikings).  Pat was an undrafted free agent, so you see the NFL coaches talk a good game when it comes to drafting players who can stop the run.  The truth is players like Ahtyba are taken for granted in a draft because he is not flashy and doesnít have the big time stats.  So my advice is to look at Robís board to see what round this kid will be rated in and then pray your team drafts him.  If they do, you will have a defense that knows how to stop the run and push the pocket; those two things are what makes a defense successful.  I call him Ahtyba (little Pat) Rubin because of his similarities to Pat Williams.