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View Full Version : Watch our future ILB, Dont'a Hightower (Alabama)



steelz09
01-09-2012, 09:00 PM
Dont'a Hightower

ILB for the best defense in the country. He has physical attributes to play immediately in the NFL. Great size and decent speed. Oh, and he doesn't have as much as a learning curve because he already plays in a 3-4! How many college ILB's can say that?

Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
Projected Round (2011): 1.
12/26/11: Hightower has had a good season for Alabama. He has been a tough, in-the-box defender and has increased his splash plays. Hightower has shown the ability to be a dangerous blitzer as well. He looks much faster than he did in 2010 when he was in his first season back from knee surgery. Hightower has 81 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, one interception and three passes batted away this season. He had a dominant game against Tennessee and played well versus LSU. Against Georgia Southern, Hightower blocked a field goal and it looked like he was spiking a volleyball. Hightower is a real presence in the tackle box.
http://walterfootball.com/draft2012ILB.php

focosteeler
01-09-2012, 09:10 PM
i hope he is faster than a 4.85 if we draft him. gotta be able to cover the athletic TE's that are everywhere now

Dee Dub
01-09-2012, 09:16 PM
Hightower is not a cover guy. But neither was Levon Kirkland when he came to the Steelers. Kirk, surprisingly for his size, improved over time. Hightower is a downhill ILB. A pure run stuffer. He struggles sometimes going sideline to sideline but as far as being stout versus the run he's the real deal.

Nico Johnson of Alabama is one to watch too. He is more athletic of the two.

steelz09
01-09-2012, 09:17 PM
i hope he is faster than a 4.85 if we draft him. gotta be able to cover the athletic TE's that are everywhere now

I'm not that concerned with that.... we need someone to complement timmons, not a clone of timmons.

Dee Dub
01-09-2012, 09:27 PM
i hope he is faster than a 4.85 if we draft him. gotta be able to cover the athletic TE's that are everywhere now

I'm not that concerned with that.... we need someone to complement timmons, not a clone of timmons.

Exactly, and what will happen I believe is you will then see Timmons be used more to his strength which is getting after the QB inside.

steelz09
01-10-2012, 12:17 AM
A nice forced fumble right there by hightower

pfelix73
01-10-2012, 12:29 AM
Nice! You sold me..Wonder where he'll end up. Top 10?

I'll take that Aussie punter from LSU too...

:tt1

Mister Pittsburgh
01-10-2012, 10:00 AM
I was thinking the same thing about the Aussie Punter.....We need one....and we best have a nice kicker competition come camp.

Dee Dub
01-10-2012, 01:10 PM
Nice! You sold me..Wonder where he'll end up. Top 10?

I'll take that Aussie punter from LSU too...

:tt1

No, Hightower right now is maybe a back end of round one or possibly an early second rounder. He is a force however right now he is one dimensional. If you noticed last night on passing plays he was on the sideline a lot.

Lebsteel
01-10-2012, 01:47 PM
Nice! You sold me..Wonder where he'll end up. Top 10?

I'll take that Aussie punter from LSU too...

:tt1

No, Hightower right now is maybe a back end of round one or possibly an early second rounder. He is a force however right now he is one dimensional. If you noticed last night on passing plays he was on the sideline a lot.
Dub, I didn't watch the whole game, but I saw Hightower in coverage many times and he looked very good. He also looked pretty good rushing the passer. I think he would be a great compliment to Timmons.

Dee Dub
01-10-2012, 02:11 PM
Nice! You sold me..Wonder where he'll end up. Top 10?

I'll take that Aussie punter from LSU too...

:tt1

No, Hightower right now is maybe a back end of round one or possibly an early second rounder. He is a force however right now he is one dimensional. If you noticed last night on passing plays he was on the sideline a lot.
Dub, I didn't watch the whole game, but I saw Hightower in coverage many times and he looked very good. He also looked pretty good rushing the passer. I think he would be a great compliment to Timmons.

I agree. Think about this...if we had Hightower versus the Broncos I'd bet that it would be Timmons who shadows Tebow and not Polamalu. The fact that Hightower is a legit run stuffer I think this frees up Timmons to do more of what he is best at.

steelblood
01-10-2012, 02:23 PM
[quote=pfelix73]Nice! You sold me..Wonder where he'll end up. Top 10?

I'll take that Aussie punter from LSU too...

:tt1

No, Hightower right now is maybe a back end of round one or possibly an early second rounder. He is a force however right now he is one dimensional. If you noticed last night on passing plays he was on the sideline a lot.
Dub, I didn't watch the whole game, but I saw Hightower in coverage many times and he looked very good. He also looked pretty good rushing the passer. I think he would be a great compliment to Timmons.

I agree. Think about this...if we had Hightower versus the Broncos I'd bet that it would be Timmons who shadows Tebow and not Polamalu. The fact that Hightower is a legit run stuffer I think this frees up Timmons to do more of what he is best at.[/quote:1ywmho8p]

Hightower does not need to be a 2 down run stuffer for us. He is smart enough for short area coverage and (he proved last night against Hurst) that he is a legitimate power pass rushing DE in nickel situations. In fact, he is big enough to be an interior pass rusher on 3rd and long. Hightower could play all three downs.

However, I'm not sure he is a great value pick at 24.

feltdizz
01-10-2012, 02:36 PM
I wouldn't get too excited about any Alabama defensive players during last nights game. That wasn't an offense they were up against last night...

Lebsteel
01-10-2012, 03:32 PM
I wouldn't get too excited about any Alabama defensive players during last nights game. That wasn't an offense they were up against last night...
So the Tide was the best defense in CFB because they didnt play any good offenses this year?

bvillesteel
01-10-2012, 05:05 PM
I wouldn't get too excited about any Alabama defensive players during last nights game. That wasn't an offense they were up against last night...

That's funny because a lot of what they saw last night was what we had problems with on Sunday. Hightower is a beast and would be the best possible replacement for a player in Farrior who has clearly lost it. I dont know if anyone looked at the kid Gentry but I liked what I saw last night. He blew up the line a couple times yesterday.

Dee Dub
01-11-2012, 07:38 PM
Here is the latest from Scouts Inc. on Hightower...

ILB Dont'a Hightower
The more I watch Hightower, the more impressed I am. His size (6-3, 260) and power between the tackles are second to none, and his thick base and instincts allow him to control things inside and stone ball carriers at the line of scrimmage.

Hightower's overall bulk -- some scouts believe he's gotten up to 270 pounds -- raises concerns about his range, but he did show versatility against LSU by putting his hand on the ground and using a good inside move to get to Jefferson and strip the ball away on a key fourth-down play.

While he could stand to slim down a bit and gain some quickness, Hightower's instincts, physical play and ability as a stack-and-shed defender at the point of attack give him a chance to move from the early-to-mid second round into the later part of the first if he enters the draft as a junior. The Giants and Ravens (who might be in the market for the heir apparent to Ray Lewis) are possible late-first landing spots, while the Panthers could possibly add Hightower early in the second.

BigRob
01-11-2012, 08:33 PM
Here is the latest from Scouts Inc. on Hightower...

ILB Dont'a Hightower
The more I watch Hightower, the more impressed I am. His size (6-3, 260) and power between the tackles are second to none, and his thick base and instincts allow him to control things inside and stone ball carriers at the line of scrimmage.

Hightower's overall bulk -- some scouts believe he's gotten up to 270 pounds -- raises concerns about his range, but he did show versatility against LSU by putting his hand on the ground and using a good inside move to get to Jefferson and strip the ball away on a key fourth-down play.

While he could stand to slim down a bit and gain some quickness, Hightower's instincts, physical play and ability as a stack-and-shed defender at the point of attack give him a chance to move from the early-to-mid second round into the later part of the first if he enters the draft as a junior. The Giants and Ravens (who might be in the market for the heir apparent to Ray Lewis) are possible late-first landing spots, while the Panthers could possibly add Hightower early in the second.

Man, I could see this guy going in the first or 3rd depending on how he runs. That's going to be the biggest determining factor for him.

6'3" 270 lb ILB, Holy ****!

NorthCoast
01-11-2012, 08:47 PM
[quote=pfelix73]Nice! You sold me..Wonder where he'll end up. Top 10?

I'll take that Aussie punter from LSU too...

:tt1

No, Hightower right now is maybe a back end of round one or possibly an early second rounder. He is a force however right now he is one dimensional. If you noticed last night on passing plays he was on the sideline a lot.
Dub, I didn't watch the whole game, but I saw Hightower in coverage many times and he looked very good. He also looked pretty good rushing the passer. I think he would be a great compliment to Timmons.

I agree. Think about this...if we had Hightower versus the Broncos I'd bet that it would be Timmons who shadows Tebow and not Polamalu. The fact that Hightower is a legit run stuffer I think this frees up Timmons to do more of what he is best at.[/quote:23zknqjy]

In my opinion, Timmons was a liability in the Denver game. Kudos to their staff for gameplanning. Timmons was being pushed all over the field on those run plays.

steelz09
01-13-2012, 12:50 AM
[quote=pfelix73]Nice! You sold me..Wonder where he'll end up. Top 10?

I'll take that Aussie punter from LSU too...

:tt1

No, Hightower right now is maybe a back end of round one or possibly an early second rounder. He is a force however right now he is one dimensional. If you noticed last night on passing plays he was on the sideline a lot.
Dub, I didn't watch the whole game, but I saw Hightower in coverage many times and he looked very good. He also looked pretty good rushing the passer. I think he would be a great compliment to Timmons.

I agree. Think about this...if we had Hightower versus the Broncos I'd bet that it would be Timmons who shadows Tebow and not Polamalu. The fact that Hightower is a legit run stuffer I think this frees up Timmons to do more of what he is best at.

In my opinion, Timmons was a liability in the Denver game. Kudos to their staff for gameplanning. Timmons was being pushed all over the field on those run plays.[/quote:3gm8c03r]

Timmons has never been a real good run defender. never. The Timmons man crush around here will point to his tackles in 2010 but that doesn't tell the true story.

The best run defense I've ever seen Timmons have was 1 play against Denver. He quickly diagnosed the play and tackled the running back for a loss. Granted, he wasn't blocked on the play and had clear vision to the RB but that was still a good play.

He lacks 2 key ILB attributes that don't think he'll ever get.

#1 - Shedding blocks & shifting thru the trash on the inside
#2 - vision to diagnose plays quickly on the inside

I don't really place all the blame on Timmons though. He was brought here to play a position (3-4 ILB) that I don't think he was made to play.

ILB in a 4-3. Yes.
OLB in a 4-3. Yes
OLB in a 3-4. No...we saw that first hand this year.
ILB in a 3-4. Yes but I don't think he'll ever be as successful as what he would be at any 4-3 LB position.

Dresden
01-13-2012, 01:05 AM
ILB in a 4-3. Yes.
OLB in a 4-3. Yes
OLB in a 3-4. No...we saw that first hand this year.
ILB in a 3-4. Yes but I don't think he'll ever be as successful as what he would be at any 4-3 LB position.


The odd thing to me is that no one on our staff with any power saw that when he (Timmons) was an average 4-3 Tampa 2 type pursuit backer at FSU and said, "Dude,....Lawrence Timmons in the top 20 ? Uuuuh,...NO."

Would i like to disregard this ?, yes,....but it just seems to continue,.... ie: Worilds. :HeadBanger

RuthlessBurgher
01-13-2012, 11:21 AM
How does Hightower compare to another Bama LB of recent vintage, Rolando McClain?

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
01-13-2012, 11:48 AM
How does Hightower compare to another Bama LB of recent vintage, Rolando McClain?

From watching the game Monday, I have a "range" issue with Hightower. He would be ok if he had Kuechly's instincts but I think he will fall some because of it. I think both Hightower & Chapman have benefitted from that "team" defense. Not taking anything away from them. Just not sure they would have been as successful or noticed if that talent wasn't on the field with them. I feel Kirkpatrick, Upshaw, and Barron have clear physical gifts & abilities and they will be 1st rounders.

feltdizz
01-13-2012, 02:00 PM
In my opinion, Timmons was a liability in the Denver game. Kudos to their staff for gameplanning. Timmons was being pushed all over the field on those run plays.

I didn't think our run D was that bad... I think all of our LB's looked bad in that game. The spread option had them on their heels all game.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
01-13-2012, 03:16 PM
In my opinion, Timmons was a liability in the Denver game. Kudos to their staff for gameplanning. Timmons was being pushed all over the field on those run plays.

I didn't think our run D was that bad... I think all of our LB's looked bad in that game. The spread option had them on their heels all game.

What bothered me is we had to put 8 & 9 in the box and go cover 0 behind it with shadows on Tebow. Was that because of Tebow's abilities or lack of ours? I know the answer and because of it we let Tebow throw his receivers open 1 on 1 with defenders back to Tebow or trailing with no help. Compensating for it made Taylor Island the size of Canada. When an OL can't combination block a NT to get to the ILB because the C needs a double team that puts the defense in a +2 with a S in the box. Now let me explain that. That +2 means there are two guys unaccounted for in the blocking scheme. The S and (1)ILB should be running free. When you have an option QB or wildcat in that same scenario the defense is +1. Meaning there is only one guy left unaccounted which usually is the S in the box. That is why the wildcat option can be effective against certain defenses because it could be a missed tackle or bad angle away from a big play. But it isn't an exact science and guys come free to help...But you don't game plan for it & hope it happens that way. When it is a QB who can run you have to account for him to run in the passing game by leaving LB(s) or S(s) in a shallow zone incase he breaks contain. That NT I mentioned above would be Hampton in his prime. Not 2012 Hampton or McClendon. The Broncos OL could combination, cut, or even single block the duo. Add in the fact that Farrior lost a step and struggles to make plays with lineman up on him gives you the gameplan we saw. 8 & 9 in the box with cover 0 behind it. If read pass...S bail with LB & S shadow. No blitz...Cover zero...Let Tebow just bounce around until someone gets to green. Dixon could have put up those numbers throwing against us. Why that plan? Because the Steelers no longer have the personnel to create +1 without a safety in the box. Why? Because our NT isn't who he used to be and Farrior can't recover anymore coming off blocks.

feltdizz
01-13-2012, 04:57 PM
but Tebow isn't fast... it's not like Tebow is going to run 80 yards on us in one play. If anything he would get 5 to 6 yards.

Dresden
01-14-2012, 04:54 PM
How does Hightower compare to another Bama LB of recent vintage, Rolando McClain?


From watching the game Monday, I have a "range" issue with Hightower.


:Agree

steelz09
01-14-2012, 07:10 PM
Really? What do you think Farrior's "range" is?

Dresden
01-15-2012, 10:40 PM
Really? What do you think Farrior's "range" is?


Potsie's range in his prime was very near an elite level for a backer. And yet he was still very stout against the run. So he's done now,..time catches up with all of us,...it happens.

I like Hightower,...but i have to say i am concerned about him entering the league at his current weight. Don't get me wrong,... i loved Kirk inside,.. but how long can a backer be productive at the weight of a small lineman ? ( Which is what Hightower will be after three to four seasons)

focosteeler
01-16-2012, 01:39 AM
Really? What do you think Farrior's "range" is?


Potsie's range in his prime was very near an elite level for a backer. And yet he was still very stout against the run. So he's done now,..time catches up with all of us,...it happens.

I like Hightower,...but i have to say i am concerned about him entering the league at his current weight. Don't get me wrong,... i loved Kirk inside,.. but how long can a backer be productive at the weight of a small lineman ? ( Which is what Hightower will be after three to four seasons)

he looked a little 'soft' in the middle, which makes me wonder how much of his weight is fat weight....I would be interested to see how much weight he would lose if he toned up.

I honestly dont think he would gain that much weight after becoming a pro. he looked pretty filled out so they would probably not focus on size and give him mass gaining workouts like they would with some rookies. just get him stronger

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
01-16-2012, 09:49 AM
Really? What do you think Farrior's "range" is?

None now. That's why he needs to be replaced.

Shoe
01-16-2012, 11:22 AM
Unless Hightower has the ability to really get to the QB at his size, he'd be a luxury pick who is probably not worth taking at that pick (i.e. other players worth taking). Naturally, the guy would be a thumper in the run game. But so many teams go spread. What's his role in that situation?

If he becomes the dominant middle run stuffer as his size would suggest, why would teams even try to run it, in this era where everything favors passing? They'd spread the field, and either: a) walk him off the field, or b) make him cover.

Dee Dub
01-16-2012, 01:09 PM
Unless Hightower has the ability to really get to the QB at his size, he'd be a luxury pick who is probably not worth taking at that pick (i.e. other players worth taking). Naturally, the guy would be a thumper in the run game. But so many teams go spread. What's his role in that situation?

If he becomes the dominant middle run stuffer as his size would suggest, why would teams even try to run it, in this era where everything favors passing? They'd spread the field, and either: a) walk him off the field, or b) make him cover.

When I first came up with my initial Steelers mock draft I was thinking/hoping that the Steelers would be drafting like #32 and thought that would be a great value pick for someone like Hightower. But I will tell you, at 24 I really dont think it would be a bad pick for the Steelers. I think Hightower, like Lavon Kirkland, would improve over time in pass defense as well as his lateral movement. And I believe that no matter where he is picked, you are getting a solid player for the next 10 years. A lot of people dont know but Nick Saben's 3-4 is also a very complex scheme. To get a proven 3-4 commodity like Hightower who has played in a similar scheme can only be a good thing. Even if he is picked at 24.