• December 2, 2021

Dont’a Hightower Has Tremendous Ability Vs. The Passing Game

I think right away that Dont’a Hightower is a special athlete but he doesn’t seem to recognize things as quickly as Luke Kuechly at the middle linebacker position.  Kuechly seems to be much better inside the box against the running game.   I would immediately have Hightower bend his knees more so that he could be more explosive, if I were his coach.  He catches the blocks too much rather than exploding from his legs into them.

I do like the ability he has shown as a linebacker with the upper body strength to play big linemen with his hands, get off them and make tackles.  Most linebackers have to use their shoulders and forearms, but Hightower uses his hands very well.

He also has tremendous pass rush ability which would make extremely valuable on third downs.  You could have him put his hand down in a three point stance or blitz from a stand up position.  You would be adding another polished pass rusher rather than having a linebacker blitz who doesn’t know how to rush the passer.

I also like him as a pass coverage guy.  He changes directions very well and covers a lot of ground.

I could understand teams being excited about him because of what he’ll be able to do on 3rd down.  It’s very unusual to have a middle linebacker who is able to cover and rush the passer like Hightower.  He must improve his play against the run from the middle linebacker position.

Take a look at Dont’a Hightower in action.

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47 Comments

  • that was worse than Keuchley , looks unathletic and weak against the run, next…

  • Sold
    he looks like Lamar Woodley when he has his hand on the ground —
    Kuechly looked great in his video and Hightower looks real good too
    What is the last possible spot this guys lasts on Draft day — is it possible to do a Lito and Sheldon type draft with 2 linebackers in 2012 with the 1st and 2nd pick

  • put some burfict up here so people can see some serious action. this is sheer boredom.

  • Jake dog ….what the hell r u looking at friend. Donta is an absolute beast and will be a monster in this leauge for years to come. Just my opion of course but you need to hit youtube and start doing some reaserch before you say he is worse than kuechly. And for the record i do think kuechly is overated. He will be GOOD at best. Tackels r great but he does not appear to be near physical enough for the middle.

  • Worse then Keuchley? Please go upstairs and take about 75 tylenol pm’s and take a nap brah. Hightower is better then any linebacker we have NOW, let alone that fake LB from BC.

  • Kuechly is a potential pro bowl talent and a guarantee starter
    Hightower has starter potential —– it is like Jason Peters is Kuechly and Todd Herremans is Hightower – both good but there is a big talent gap between them

  • Eagles, you’re trolling now. Kuechley played in the ACC on a crap team. Hightower played in the SEC on the best team in the country, that plays against the best teams in the country.

    Lets be real here homie. Big boy football is in the SEC

  • OK E0Superbowls, then you have your team draft Keuchly, because this GM says he stinks.

    I’ll draft Hightower, Burfict, and Bradham to play for the Eagles.

  • Don’t forget Audie Cole from NC State who would be a nice 3rd/4th Rd Pick
    a 3-Down LB’s who has size (6-4 244lbs) and brains..He played MLB last Season for the Wolfpack and the SAM postion in 2010.. Last Season he had
    108 Tackles, 13.5 Tackles for loss of yards, 5.5 Sacks, 4 Forced Fumbles after a 2010 Season of 87 Tackles, 10.5 for loss of yards
    He has 328 Career Tackles in 51 Games and a 3 Year Starter who led the Team in tackles in each of his last 3 Seasons at NC State which plays in the ACC that goes up against good OL and RB’s and offenses week in and week out…

  • Paul, we agree on a lot of points, and absolutely respect, and love your opinions, but I watched Audie Cole in the Senior Bowl, because you had mentioned him, but he cant be mentioned with the guys I’ve already mentioned. He will be a career back up if he can stick to a team; He nothing special. The Eagles NEED SPECIAL. He is real slow, and not that great in coverage too, another option at LB, if you can’t draft Kuechly, If you want Kuechly,,,,,,which I don’t….no thanks.

  • gmcliff Burfict is Kryptonite but I like Hightower
    ASU coach Dennis Erickson has given the thumbs down on Burfict to NFL personal men — round 3 most likely 4
    their is no way Burfict even stays healthy anyway with that temper, OG and Centers will break his foot or leg if he pulls that cheap shot act on a franchise QB or RB.

  • eagles, o bowls, don’t have time or inclination to be draft geek, but those videos of kuechley and hightower show me that neither are worthy of mid first round pick, 2nd rounders, nothing special, one looks slow and the other not powerful enough against the run

  • Burfict is playing out of position to me, and Dennis Erickson, isn’t that great at forecasting a players NFL potential, if memory serves me correct he said the same thing about Warren Sapp, out of spite, when he had his run ins with him. It didn’t change the fact that he was a player. I can guarantee you, that if the Eagles draft Donte Hightower, which they should, Baltimore will NOT chance losing him in the high 2nd, or 3rd rounds; – HE’S NOT DROPPING TO THE 4TH — No matter what anybody says. His career will benefit from his temperament. Man, how can you say somebody is going to put a hit out on him because of his mindset? That’s just asinine!!!…He”ll be fine. Put him on the Eagles, give it time, and him time to grow, and the fans will love him, and forget about all this nonsense, that both he, a kid lacking some maturity, but still a talented, and Dennis Erickson, a hater, who wont make as much as Vontaze, when it’s all said and done.

  • Jake, i will take Hightower, or Courtney Upshaw, at Middle Linebacker, but one of them should be drafted by Philadelphia.

  • I have watched 5-6 Arizona State Games in their entirety over the last 2 Seasons and I am not that impressed from what I see watching Burfict.. The guy can hit, has the physical toolthere’s no doubt, but has has no lane,containment discipline and he appears to have a hard time taking to coaching and instruction..I think he’s biggest problem is that he’s just not very bright.. How is he going to call Defensive Alignments and Checks when he has a difficult time deciphering the formations & calls and this will be his biggest issues when interviewin with NFL Coaches and Staff at the combines.. Physically, the guy is off the charts, but he a bag of rocks if you know what I mean …Very similar to wired up Taylor Mays, all the Physcial Tools but a Bust because he had a shitty attitude and wasn’t every bright..
    Now Burfict gets on a team like the Ravens/Steelers where he can mature and learn what it means to be a Pro,etc,etc.. Then he has a shot but for a Team like the Eagles, Where he is going to get that veteran Leadership from..Casey matthews, J Chaney.. LB/DC Coach Juan Castillo…
    I do agree GMCliff, that Burfict would be a much better SAM OLB than in the Middle and just turn him lose into the backfield, which is what he does the best, Unfortunatley the Eagles OLB don’t play this style and I just don’t see him as a godo fit for the Wide 9 Scheme due to his lack of discipline..

  • You guys know I’m a Dont’a Hightower fan and I like Burfict also both guys hit hard and are intimidators both would fit what the Eagles need at linebacker but my sense tells me Jim Washburn has a lot of influence and there’s 2 guys on the free agent market that the Eagles will get for Jim and thats Stephen Tulloch and Albert Haynesworth. Why not if the reason why they didn’t get Spags was because of Washburn then they should let him pick his front 7 players and the additions of Tulloch and Haynesworth fits the bill.

  • Burfict is a POS.

  • Paulman I do agree with Burfict comments he’s not discipline at all and is always out of place he’s good against the run but play action pass he’s terrible between the top 3 middle linebackers in the draft I would pick Hightower. But we all know the Eagles are not drafting a linebacker with there first pick so my sense tells me its a wide reciever or defense linemen my guess would be Kendall Wright from Baylor or trade up and draft Quinton Coples from North Carolina.

  • Remember, Paul thats why Andy Reid drafted Ricky Sapp. Burfict in that position would fill that role better.

    Turk I would welcome Haynesworth, and Tulloch would be fine but I still draft Hightower, and Burfict, and cut bums like Matthews, and Foiku.

  • Birdo just dont forget his name because he will be a star…..

  • To GM
    Sapp was down lineman DE at Clemson and was striclty a pass rusher from a 3 point stance or standing up moving around the line of scrimmage, but he had no LB experience at all when he came to camp and at 245-250lbs was not able to play DE at the NFL Level..
    I remember G-Man specifically stated this Sapp’s first practice that he was “fish out of water” trying to play LB.. They selected Sapp in the 5th Round and was a flyer pick so no real harm done …

    I think 2 MLB that will be salatry cap causulaties over the next 2 weeks are
    Jon Vilma from the Saints nad Jon Beason form the Panthers.. Both teams have Salary Cap issues, both players have been hurt a lot over the last 2 seasons and both have godo size contracts that their teams will most likely shed…

  • Look at that video of hightower getting pushed around on the run, keuch ley much stronger, but neither worth a first round pic

  • I would grab a True MLB in the 4th/5th Round

    #1) Audi Cole from NC State 6-4 248lbs
    #2) James Michael Johnson from Nevada 6-1 250lbs, runs a 4.68
    #3) My Sleeper pick – Jerry Franklin from Arkansas 6-1 241lbs, runs a 4.60

    Use the first 4 picks in the First 3 Rounds for DL/OLB/WR/CB

  • This highlight film was not very impressive on Hightower, I have seen much better footage and plays elsewhere..

  • Lavonte David of Nebraska is going to be the best LB in this draft 3 years from now….although only 6-1 225 with room to put on 10lbs, he has all the tools to be an all pro in the NFL….

    Hightower has limitations going sideline to sideline, Kuechly is a WIL in the NFL and not worth more than a 3rd round pick…..

    Nigel Bradham of FSU will be a steal for someone in round 4. He has all the tools but didnt live up to the hype for the Seminoles….he projects to be a better pro and can play all LB positions….

    The Eagles are in a great position to use one of their 2nd rounders on a LB…..none are 1st round values….

    If you want a sleeper, Mychal Kendricks of Cal will be a solid MLB in the NFL for years to come.

  • @Pman…do you think Beason can remain healthy? If so, I would take a try with signing Beason as a FA and using our 1st round pick for Fletcher Cox, DT from Miss…he is 6’4″ 297lbs and can get pressure from the middle. Combine Fletcher, Jenkins and Beason and suddenly our previously soft middle has become a whole lot better.

  • That would be a great combo greenfan, unfortunately, I am not so confident of Beason returning to a level of a big-time players.. I think this is 2 years in a row with torn ACL (I am not sure if it’s the same knee or on both knees) and I remember reading that he had deterioating cartilage in one of his knees that is almost like a bone on bone typeof deal..It’s a shame for when healthy, he is a very good tough nosed and solid MLB with great Leadership skills..

    A LB I really like and have been checking out is Keenan Robinson from Texas where he played OLB, he;s 6-3 245lbsm can run and long arms and drop back in pass coverage, get into the backfield and a smart headsy players.. Many Rankings/Projections had him as a 4th Rounder,but hehad a very good Senior Week and if he does well at the Indy COmbines and NFL Texas Workout Day, he could move up to a late 2nd/3rd Rounder .. I think he could possibly play MLB as I do think of Bama’s C Upshaw.. .

  • Paulman….Is there one linebacker on the Eagles roster better than Vontaze Burfict?

  • The more I think about the birds defense the more I am convinced that they need for a veteran FA at MLB…we need an established leader, not another year of a rookie at the MIKE….we can use our draft picks shoring up the middle of the DL, and find a safety and LB later in the draft.

    By the way, with the apparent signing of DJax, anyone hearing anything about Mathis? Would they really let him walk?

  • green, I agree somewhat, keuchley and Hightower not worthy of high pick, this fella burfict , I watched video of him tonight, he has the most upside, quick, really quick on attack at los, athletic, nasty, really nasty, this is what the eagles defense needs, save your thinking, choir boy, nice boys for offense, remember Jerome brown, dirty waters, Wes Hopkins, Byron Evans, this guy looks special.

  • Greenfan,
    Your won’t see too many player signings until March until the NFL Calender Year begins . D-Jax will get a “Franchise Tag” which is technically not a binding a contract until he signs the tender deal as both parties can still negoitiate a long-term deal… . .
    Songs, Burfict is not a Pro yet, so lets see how he does in his combines,team interviews, OTA’s, Summer Camp and then in Live action.. He appears to have all the talent and physical tookls in the world , but Eagles typically do not draft “slow minded” players which is the book on Burfict

  • paulman is Hightower a pro yet, this burfict makes me think of Lawrence Taylor, a one man wrecking machine, check out his video, your comparison to Simms is not warranted

  • You guys are so funny your want the perfect linebacker when you come out of college just about every player has a weakness but one thing about Burfict and Hightower the way both guys hit the opposing players they gonna think twice about coming across the middle thats a skill that can’t be taught fellas. Hightower and Burfict are gonna be stars in this league.

  • BURFICT IS THE NASTIEST, MEANEST OF EM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!! I just went on Y tube and checked out his 9 minute & 17 sec video, and after the first 2 minutes, that was all I needed to see. This guy is a complete animal like ray lewis! I almost would go on to say that he is a better and younger version than lewis himself. i’m sold on Burfict. If this FO doesn’t get him, we might as well keep drinking up. This guy is the absolute truth at linebacker!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Paul, they may not draft players like Burfict, but that was the knock on Ray Lewis as well. If Andy could draft him in his prime – HIND SIGHT BEING 20-20 – Do you think he would draft him? He can’t draft a Pro Bowl Linebacker to save his life. He has to change his philosophy on the players he gets for this position. Burfict isn’t dumb, he’s just not as strong in his cognitive skills as a MLB. That’s why I say he is best suite to play the strongside. He can cover, blitz, and knock some people on their tail. His ceiling is higher than Kuechly, Audie Cole, Lavonte David, and some others despite those shortcomings in recognizing play action fakes, and so forth. I draft Donte Hightower, but I sign a free agent Veteran, to play ahead of him, and Nigel Bradham to play the weakside. What the Eagles have now, is not good enough. Rolle, Chaney, Clayton, and Jordan will contribute, but they are not starters for the long haul of the season. We need to step up our standards of the players we bring in, and Burfict, Hightower, and Bradham are it.

  • The only knock on Lewis coming out of college was that he was too samll (short actually).

    He did not have any of the issues that Burfict has (undisciplined, dumb, uncoachable, suspended by his own coach, often out of position, etc etc.)

    You think Ray Lewis every played in a bowl game where he got turned into the other team’s bitch as they rolled up 170+ yrds rushing while he flailed around helplessly and recorded a measly one assist on a tackle. No, I didn’t think so….

    Yet this is the guy a whole lot of guys on here are jizzing in their pants over. He’s the TRUTH! The only truth is that he’s not a very productive player.

    Vontaze Burfict has 134 tackles in his entire college career. Ray Lewis had 160 tackles in his Junior year.

    Ray Lewis was the runner up for the Butkis award (who won that again this year?) Burfict wasn’t even nominated.

    If I read Burfict again compared to Ray Lewis I’m going to throw up.

  • This is my guy. IMHO, he will step right in from day one, & be a good-great LB for years. If he stays healthy. If they pass on him, they will regret it BIG TIME!!! But if Brockers or Still are still there at 15, I’d take them first & get Burfict or Cole with my 1st, 2nd rounder, who should still be there. Remember, Patterson is a giant ??? after brain surgery, Dixon is a RFA, Landri is a UFA, Laws is a UFA & is a useless sack of dung, & Jenkins is due a major salary increase, & who knows what this idiotic FO will do with him. So we can use a stud DT. In a perfect world I’d like Brockers, Burfict & Wagner with my first three picks.

  • It’s as if the league is trying to punish Burfict but he’ll come in with a chip on his shoulder regardless of where he’s chosen…he’ll still play in the NFL and every team that ignored him will wish they take the chance. I’ll never forget all the negative press against Sapp when he was coming out. Sapp looked at the camera and said it didn’t matter….He kick ass for whoever pick him and he was right. Dominant

    Where are the pundits on that risk?

    How many guys will come back on the and say they were dead wrong?

    Remember the Bosworth hype?

    Burfict is not only the best linebacker in this draft but have the raw talent to be the best since Ray Lewis.

    All the physical tangibles which can not be denied.

    These comparisons to Simms is ridiculous. simms is a damn runt.

    Burfict have so much recover speed he takes chances but the right coach can hhave this guy palying better than every linebacker in the league. coaches like Bill Parcells would know what to do with him. Maybe Marc Ross will get him for the Giants.

    if the Eagles don’t get him I pray the Giants do. JPP with Burfict in the middle.

    2 players we should have chose.

    Watch what I’m telling you guys…This guy have intangibles are seriously exceptional for a young guy.

    Keuchly is just a lunch pale average linebacker that comes a dime a dozen.

  • It’s if Songs is basing his 2012 EAgles Season on a Draft Pick that he knows the Eagles won’t select due to his character,maturity isssues so that Songs can bitch about it all Season long… He did the same thing with Safety Taylor Mays a couple yers back and what has Mays done in th NFL… Is he even on on a NFL Roster..
    There are 15 good LB’s in th Draft than can help the Eagles, why are you so fixated on the toubled,falling down the charts Burfict…

  • Okay, this is gonna sting me but I gotta say it:

    EXECELLENT post Paulman

    But to be fair, songs also said the eagles would go 19-0 with a superbowl win when they brought in Nnamdi… so the pattern is really compulsively fixated man crush induced hyperbole…

  • Ray Lewis measured in at 6-1 235 in the 1996 draft…. he then put on 15lbs of muscle during this career and is one of the best MLB of all time…. he had a knack for reading plays and making tackles behind the line of scrimmage…..a la Lavonte David of Nebraska.
    Burfict hits like a truck but is NOT an NFL MLB…in the NFL you want your MLB to call the defense and be a leader…Burfict has mental issues…. Hightower is a better prospect with Kuechly most likely playing WIL in the NFL.

  • draft burfict, put him on the weak side, pass rushing, havoc wreaking beast, sign tulloch for the middle, get Dixon healthy, along with Jenkins , babin , Cole and the corners, you are one piece away from a championship defense, it ain’t that complicated

  • “It’s as if the league is trying to punish Burfict”

    LOL

    Newsflash. The league doesn’t give a shit about Burfict.

  • +1 jakedog… I like that plan.

  • I hate to be the guy to burst your bubble Gary, but you are the guy that wrote over and over gushing effusively about how beastly a linebacker Stewart Bradley was or would be. The guy hasn’t been able to crack the starting line-up for the Cardinals…

  • I don’t know that Keuchly is garbage, but I doubt he’s a good fit for any “Down Hill” style pro defense.

  • Butch 007 — the Arizona Cardinals switched their 4-3 D to a 3-4 defense, which need fast speedy ILB likes Pat Willis who can cover a large area like a SS does on a baseball field and hide behind NT DE OLB — no personal man or GM would put stew bradley in that D but Arizona did – they thought they could still use Darnell Docket as a hybrid DE/ 3techDT and Bradley would compensate for it — it was a dumb idea and it did not work

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