Todd McShay: "There’s nothing that Kikaha cannot do."
In the eyes of some NFL personnel, Hau’oli Kikaha‘s draft stock might have taken a hit when he ran an underwhelming 4.9-second 40-yard dash during Washington’s Pro Day workout two weeks ago.
For ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, those types of numbers matter little compared to the production he’s seen from Kikaha on game film. In short, McShay is a big fan of the Huskies’ All-American and all-time sack king.
“I love this guy,” McShay said during a media conference call Friday. “The tape is outstanding. He plays physical, he’s tough, he will set the edge versus the run. … I personally hope he lands in a good place as a 3-4 outside ‘backer, because I think that’s what he is. What he does best is get up the field and counter move when reached.”
Most draft analysts project Kikaha, a unanimous first-team All-American in 2014, as a second- or third-round pick in the draft. McShay rates him a bit higher.
“The nice part about Kikaha, unlike some of these other (pass-rush specialists), is he knows how to counter back inside and he uses his hands very well,” McShay said. “Heavy hands. Really understands leverage points. He’s able to convert speed to power. He does a good dip-and-rip move around the corner. He’s got torso flexibility and I think a strong center of gravity to ride the rail while engaged, turn the corner and then finish with power.
“I really like his game. He’s probably going to slip because he ran a 4.9. He doesn’t have the longest arms. We do this every year: We get so caught up in these stupid numbers, but on tape find me a better player. … He’s all over the field. … There’s nothing that Kikaha cannot do, and that’s why I’ve got an early second-round grade on him, and I’m well aware that he could fall to the third or even the fourth round because of some of the durability issues. We’ll see. Time will tell.”