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Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; B/R NFL 1000: Ranking the Top 15 4-3 Strong-Side Linebackers from 2015 By Matt Miller , NFL Draft Lead Writer Mar 18, 2016 15. Hau'oli Kikaha, New Orleans Saints Pass Rush9/20 For a rookie second-rounder like Kikaha, four sacks looks ...

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Old 03-18-2016, 10:51 AM   #1
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Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

B/R NFL 1000: Ranking the Top 15 4-3 Strong-Side Linebackers from 2015
By Matt Miller , NFL Draft Lead Writer Mar 18, 2016

15. Hau'oli Kikaha, New Orleans Saints

Pass Rush9/20
For a rookie second-rounder like Kikaha, four sacks looks pretty sweet on the stat sheet. A deeper look shows a player who is winning with technique more than athleticism, but the consistency just isn’t there yet. He still has plenty of time to develop, though, and his ability to put up numbers even when he has so much to learn is promising.

Run Defense14/20
Billed as more of a pass-rushing specialist coming out of Washington, Kikaha was actually much more effective at stopping the run in his rookie campaign. His long arms and attention to detail from a technique standpoint allowed him to disengage from blockers and make quick plays on the ball.

Coverage11/20

Kikaha didn’t look comfortable in coverage as a rookie, exhibiting stiff hips when asked to change direction. He has plenty of athleticism, so when he taps into that and translates it into coverage ability, he’ll have a chance to be a special player down the road.

Tackling22/30
Kikaha is a tough, intense player who loves contact and can deliver a big hit when the opportunity arises. He’s still working on the finer points of technique, but he only averaged about one missed tackle per every 100 snaps on defense, which isn’t terrible in the slightest.

8. Nate Stupar, New Orleans Saints

Pass Rush15/20
After not starting one game in his first two seasons, Nate Stupar started three in 2015. He wasn’t earth-shattering as a pass-rusher, but he flashed some positive traits and came up with his first career sack, along with three quarterback hurries.

Run Defense12/20
A seventh-round pick out of Penn State in 2012, Stupar got in on 259 defensive snaps for the Falcons in 2015, most of them coming in the first half of the season. At 6’2”, 240 pounds, his adequate frame helped him hold his own against guards and fullbacks who met him at the second level.

Coverage14/20
Stupar was above average in this department last season, showing decent range and athleticism—especially on shorter routes that allowed him to break on the ball downhill. He’s still a bit stiff in the hips, though, and doesn’t look fluid when he's forced to get depth and change direction on the fly.

Tackling19/30
Stupar’s size gives him enough strength to bring down opposing ball-carriers, but he can still be overpowered by bigger backs and can require assistance to finish the job. He’s a willing tackler with good technique and the fundamentals to be successful if he can be more consistent.

4. Michael Mauti, New Orleans Saints

Pass Rush12/20
It might seem strange for a player who saw just 175 snaps in 2015 to land so high on this list, but that’s just how impressive Michael Mauti looked in his limited action last season. He wasn’t asked to rush the passer much, though, and his new opportunities brought mixed results, none of which made it to the box score.

Run Defense16/20
A seventh-round pick by the Vikings in 2013, the Penn State product was held back by injuries but blossomed in his third season. He took advantage of increased playing time midway through the 2015 season, proving himself to be a tough, effective run defender with great instincts.

Coverage15/20
Those instincts served Mauti well in coverage, as well. He may not have recorded any interceptions or defensed passes, but he flashed the ability to close quickly on short and intermediate routes, demonstrating adequate hip fluidity when he was forced to change direction.

Tackling27/30
What Mauti lacks in raw athleticism, he makes up for with technique and competitiveness. Those traits were most evident in his tackling in 2015, as he only missed one tackle all year. He sets himself up well with efficient pursuit angles and knows how to control his momentum to avoid being embarrassed in the open field.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2...m-2015/page/13


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Old 03-18-2016, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

I really like Mauti. He gives that Fujita effort.
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:35 PM   #3
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

Coverage 11/20.... really? would rather they just let Kikaha become a pass rush specialist. I agree he did looked very uncomfortable in coverage, lost almost at times
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:30 PM   #4
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

Yeah....okay......

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Old 03-18-2016, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

I'll admit that I was less than enthusiastic about the Maudi acquisition...

Irregardless of his special teams play against the Falcons last season, he's a quality, versatile backup and special teams player...
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:32 PM   #6
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

Hmmmm...........They are still young and have room to grow. Mauti doesn't excite me yet. But I'll give him another year.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:51 PM   #7
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you


Side note : Observe Kenny Vacarro giving up on the play :06. Mauti was 10 yards away and still kept Cam out of the end zone. KV should have gotten his a$$ chewed out for lack of effort on that.

Those Penn State linebackers never give up on plays.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:54 PM   #8
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

Had to do a double take when i saw him at 4, he is a high motor guy no doubt about it.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:46 AM   #9
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

All of a sudden the Mauti signing looks good! I guess he's' (dare I say it?) A BEAST!
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:32 AM   #10
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Re: Top 15 SLB's in the NFL, #4 will shock you

Mauti should have an opportunity to start this year. He just shows up and plays his heart out. Reminds me of how his dad played, always playing 100 percent.
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