Kiko Alonso   LB   Oregon   

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Kiko is a fluid athlete who plays his position at a very high level.  He is an excellent cover linebacker who can also shed and make tackles at the line of scrimmage and in space.  He can play multiple linebacker positions in any style of defense and has the ability to be used as a middle linebacker in the Tampa 2 zone defense that requires the MLB to go backwards 40 yds to cover the middle of the field.  Kiko has a very good burst to the ball and makes tackles in a reckless fashion.  Nevertheless, he is a sure tackler and this year, in spite of his wrist injury, made the tackle when he had to -- with just one arm!  He shows mental toughness and physically, is about as tough a player that I have seen coming out in the draft.  He has the length and agility to turn his hips and stay with those big pass catching tight ends in coverage and the strength to tackle them.  He also has the size to play the rush linebacker position in a 3-4 defense.  Kiko will start for you the day after you draft him -- his athleticism, football intelligence and the natural instinct to play his position tell me so.

 

CONCERNS

Kiko is tall and lacks the bulk to play inside linebacker in the NFL.  He plays with a bit of recklessness that will cause problems for him in staying on the field and producing.  His body type doesn't look like he can add much bulk to take the pounding as an inside linebacker and he must play more under control when tackling in space to control the possibility of injuries.  I'm not suggesting that Kiko is fragile; I'm suggesting that his style of play and his body type do not match up very well.  When that occurs, players have a tendency to stay injured and be less productive on the field.  That's why I think Kiko's impact position in the NFL is as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 or 3-4.  I'm not sure that Kiko has the leadership skills you look for in a linebacker, but I am sure that he is a hell of a football player. 

 

BOTTOM LINE

Kiko reminds me a lot of Sean Lee, LB Dallas Cowboys.  I don't see the leadership skills that Sean had coming out and Kiko is not as fast, but his overall body type, size and agility reminds me a lot of Sean.  Kiko could be used in the middle like Sean, but I think if you do that, you run the risk of injuries cutting into his production because he plays with a recklessness the longer he has to run to make a tackle.  Keeping him on the outside cuts down the field and will allow him to get to the play under control, which will result in less injuries and more production.  Kiko is a natural cover linebacker who does an excellent job meeting and shedding blockers to make a tackle.  He has the natural upper body strength and long arms to string out plays to the sideline and the quickness to run down players on sweeps and screens.  What he struggles with is playing in the middle and going from sideline to the sideline to make tackles.  He does it, but because he is out of control by the time he gets to the play, he is at bigger risk of injury.  The longer he runs, the crazier he gets.  He will dive over players to make a tackle or take on a block like a battering ram to break up a play for others to make a tackle.  This battering ram technique will result in him taking unnecessary impact to his body that doesn't have the bulk to take on that type of impact.  This is why I am recommending that teams draft him and make him an outside linebacker and he will be one of the best -- a Pro Bowl linebacker, a fan favorite and a coach's best friend.  Draft him and make him your middle linebacker and he will know every name of every nurse and doctor for a 100 mile radius.  That's just how I see it.  Kiko is a hell of a football player and will become a core player for the team that drafts him...if he can stay on the field.

 

Drew “ The B.S. Detector” Boylhart

Mar/2013