Kawann seems to possess decent athletic abilities. He likes to shoot the gap and make plays in the backfield and does it very well. He is a big kid and shows some foot speed to run plays down. He understands angles and does a good job disrupting to make plays in the backfield on sweeps. Kawann has long arms that make it easy for him to keep offensive linemen off his body. When he locks his elbows and uses the correct technique, he shows enough lateral agility to be very effective against the run and string out plays to the sidelines. Kawann has the size and athletic ability to impact as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense or as a defensive end in a 3-4 defense. He also has the size and athletic ability to play in a 1-gap or 2-gap defensive front scheme. That being said, Kawann also has the talent to sit on the sidelines for the team that drafts him.
The big issue is a lack of effort and consistency for Kawann. He also should be a lot better against the run and his effort to lower his pad level at the point of attack is just about non-existent. He also has a weight problem; although this year he seems to be in better shape and has slimmed down some, he still needs to get into NFL football shape. I don't see the mental toughness to play every down with the same effort and I'm not sure how football smart he is or how much he cares to be football smart. He doesn't look like he works well with his teammates, he just plays with them. He has the talent, size and athletic ability to be considered a top draft pick, but lacks the production on film to prove it. He could be a hell of a power rusher as a defensive end in a 4-3 if he would slim down and care about improving his skills. He has Michael Strahan type talent.
I don't think Kawann gets it. He gets that if he makes a play in the backfield of his opponent, he gets attention and accolades, but he doesn't understand or maybe care, about playing his position in a team concept that will help his team win games. He doesn't do a very good job when teams run right at him, but does do an excellent job stopping the running back in the backfield when plays are run to the other side of the formation, away from him. He loves to split the double team and has the change of direction skills to sack the quarterback, but that only happens if he gets off the line and is not engaged. Once he is engaged by a blocker on any play, he goes lifeless and does not bother to try and finish. If Kawann guesses right and gets off the line of scrimmage, he looks like the real deal; however, football at the next level isn't about just lucking out and guessing. It's about calculated anticipation, effort and working the player in front of you mentally and physically. It's about the intangibles and right now, Kawann does not have the intangibles that match his athletic talent. Maybe he will someday, but for the purposes of this draft, taking a chance the light will go on, and then teaching him the techniques make me think I would let someone else go to the trouble and see what he looks like in free agency.
Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart