Drew Boylhart 3/09
Al Afalava S Oregon St
Al is one of the best kept secrets in this draft. He has excellent size, strength and burst to the ball along with solid cover skills to play his position. Al is an excellent head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler and, because of this, he is also intimidating to anyone who comes across the middle of his defense. He is smart and shows excellent natural leadership skills. Al makes the players around him better and is an intimidating hitter. Not many QB's, TE's, WR's or offensive coordinators have fooled this kid. This kid has the potential to become a big time SS or FS for the team that drafts him.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
This is a kid that has some off-field issues that need to be checked out. He is also stiff in the hips, so he needs to keep the play in front of him. He reminds me a lot of Rodney Harrison (S NE Patriots).
TALENT BOARD ROUND 4
Al is an in-the-box safety or could be used in a two-deep zone system, but he definitely will be an impact player in the right system. I'm guessing that if it wasn't for the off-field issues, this kid would be on everyone's draft board. It's a little surprising to me that teams seem to be so concerned with this particular kid's character and not others. I guess if he had pure talent to play in any type of system, I would be the only one telling everyone to draft this kid with caution. If I was a GM, I would check this kid out and if I could see through the off-field issues, I would draft him in the later rounds or select him as a Free Agent. I don't have a problem with a kid making a mistake and trying to help him turn his life around; however, not at a cost that hurts the team. So, as we look in this draft for some safeties, this kid is out there for all to see and yet no one seems to see him. I guess no one wants to talk about this kid because he does not play for the University of WGAC (Who Gives A Crap), or for a division that you have to stand to watch the game on the sidelines after you park your car and walk a half a mile through a girls fast pitch softball diamond! No... Al just plays for a division I team that has two draftable CB's on it who, along with Al, were all invited to the combine. Al Afalava has played safety for his college team for three years. Maybe that's the problem -- he's too experienced! If you want a kid that plays the game like Rodney Harrison, then I suggest someone start to take notice because this kid will impact in the right system. That's if he has a good lawyer!