Let's get one thing straight right off the bat...Koa has been playing as a DE in 4-3 defense and for the next level that is not his impact position. Koa is a linebacker who can play any one of the linebacker positions in any style of defense. He is extremely fast and quick and shows the football intelligence needed to be moved around to a new position. Koa has excellent size and could easily play as a middle linebacker in the Tampa 2-zone defense that requires the middle linebacker to run the length of the field "backwards" to cover the middle of the field in third and long situations. He uses his hands very well to meet, greet, shed a blocker and make a tackle. Koa shows some pass rushing skills, but at this point, uses mostly a bull rush style to get to the passer. He has the agility to cover man-to-man any slot receiver, tight end or a running back coming out of the backfield for a swing pass. He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler that has an excellent burst to the ball and can break down in space and make the tackle in the open field. This kid shows excellent leadership qualities through his play on the field. He has the speed, intelligence, quickness, change of direction skills and pure tackling ability to impact the day after you draft him as a linebacker, but not as a defensive end.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
The big problem with Koa is that he has not played the linebacker position! So I'm going way out on a limb to suggest that not only can he play it at the next level, but that he will impact right away. As a Defensive End, Koa is a good player but he can be handled (because of his size) by a good offensive tackle at the college level. Koa gets blown off the line when he is in a three point stance and does not get leverage or is late off the snap count to get into the backfield. He does an overall good job against both the pass and defending against the run, but he does that because of his intelligence and team oriented attitude. When Koa stands up, he is a different player who can play more in space and use his extensive athletic talents and intelligence to cause havoc and make plays.
The first time I saw Koa was on the film I have of the Utah vs San Jose State game. He made a play that made me realize he was playing out of position. He lost containment on a reverse as a DE; however, from a stopped position, he turned and ran down a wide receiver to cause a fumble. I knew right then that Koa must run at least in the 4.5 sp area and that he could turn his hips and cover. He has different speeds and a burst. I saw all of this in one play and believe me when I say that one play was remarkable. I have watched it over and over again because I have never seen a play like that before. It was remarkable. After that play, I watched Koa extensively, but not as a defensive end -- as a possible linebacker or even as a safety because he has those skills. I came to the conclusion that Koa has the talents to play any one of the linebacker positions in any style of defense. I know Koa will not be taken in the first round unless his workout numbers suggest otherwise because he will have to change positions, but believe me when I say this. If your team drafts Koa and is playing a 3-4 defense, this kid will play for you right away as a OLB/DE. If you are a team that runs a 4-3 defense, he will play for you right away also in any one of the linebacker positions, but most likely as a OLB. I call him Koa (Prove It) Misi because he is a Pro Bowl linebacker in waiting. All he has to do is prove it and I know he will.
Drew Boylhart 2/10