The New Orleans Saints have selected outside linebacker Hau'Oli Kikaha from Washington with their 44th overall pick in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Kikaha is now the second linebacker drafted by the Saints this year, so they're obviously dedicated to improving in that area. Especially considering two of them have been drafted with the first three picks.
There are definitely concerns about the two ACL surgeries he underwent in college, along with his 4.9 40-yard time in the Combine, but his pass rushing skills just cannot be ignored, with 13 sacks and 19 sacks the last two years respectively. No one has been more productive in D-1 football.
Here's a little more about the 6'2" 246-pound Kikaha, from WalterFootball.com:
Natural pass-rusher Extremely consistent with sack production Excellent in pursuit Can bend around the edge Has some pass-rushing moves Good tackler Closes quickly Instinctive Smart Agile Ready to play immediately in the NFL Good motor Can use his hands and feet at the same time Great fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker Durable Experienced
Could stand to improve downhill run defense Not overly big or physical Quick, but not fast off the edge Undersized Can struggle in coverage Scheme limitations Too small for 4-3 defensive end Not a great fit as a 4-3 outside linebacker May not have the frame to get much bigger Missed 2012 with a knee injury
Saints Draft Picks
- 13th Overall (Round 1) - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
- 31st Overall (Round 1) - Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson
- 44th Overall (Round 2) - Hau'Oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington
- 75th Overall (Round 3)
- 78th Overall (Round 3)
- 148th Overall (Round 5)
- 154th Overall (Round 5)
- 187th Overall (Round 6)
- 230th Overall (Round 7)
Saints Remaining Team Needs
Linebacker Offensive Guard/Tackle
- Wide Receiver
- Quarterback of the future