My Thoughts on All Things NFL Draft

Dont’a Hightower Scouting Report

Dont’a Hightower
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 265


  • Great size
  • Good overall athleticism
  • Very strong
  • Can take on and shed blockers
  • Sure tackler
  • Looks solid in zone coverage
  • Dynamic pass rusher for his position
  • Big hitter
  • Versatile both positionally and schematically
  • Team captain and leader


  • Knee injury in 2009 has sapped some of his athleticism
  • Overall durability is a concern
  • Lacks sideline to sideline speed
  • Lacks the speed and fluidity for man coverage

NFL Comparison: Karlos Dansby

Dont’a Hightower is a versatile defender that many thought was on track to being a top ten pick following his freshman campaign. A knee injury in 2009 derailed his career and has him much lower on draft boards. Watching his freshman film, he appears to be super athletic, especially for a man his size. His 2010 and early 2011 film show a big, slow, lumbering prospect that appears to be only a two-down player at the next level as a classic thumper. As the 2011 season progressed, however, he began comfortable playing with that knee brace and he finally started looking a lot more like the 2008 version. A lot of his stock will depend on the medical and how he performs at the combine as he could shoot back up boards if he checks out and shows off his athleticism. Hightower has great versatility and could play strongside or inside linebacker in a 43 or a 34 and possibly even some DE, where he was originally recruited. At the end of the day, I think his best fit is inside and would be a great fit for Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or the New York Giants.

Career Stats

Year Games Tackles TFL INTs Passes Defensed
2011 13 85 11 1 3
2010 13 69 3.5 0 3
2009 4 16 4 0 1
2008 14 64 2.5 0 0

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