LB Khalil Hodge, Buffalo

6’1” – 235 lbs. – N/A

Originally attended City College of San Francisco, then transferred to Buffalo after one season and became a full-time starter. Has been extremely productive in that role over the past three seasons. Plays on the inside of Buffalo’s defense behind a four-man line. Productive three-year starter who has a high-cut frame and long limbs. Very energetic, aggressive player who will have the most appeal for a swarming defense. Light on his feet, with enough speed to play sideline-to-sideline and stay on the field for three downs. Doesn’t need to be covered by defensive linemen on every play and can hold his own against blockers between the tackles; has more sand in his pants and more functional strength than his size would indicate. Keeps his pads square and uses his length to keep opposing blockers away from his pads. Heavy hands to shed. Also able to use his length and athleticism to compensate for his struggles to square up opposing ballcarriers. Uses wrap form when in position. Will shade over against bunch formations and also does work in zone or as a spy; footwork and balance looks good when dropping, and has enough speed to chase scrambling quarterbacks to the sidelines or carry backs and tight ends into the flats. Promising in somewhat limited snaps as a blitzer; closes fast when he finds a clear lane to the passer. Height and weight are just adequate, albeit acceptable for the modern game. Probably won’t serve as a tone-setter defensively; is a drag-down, assisted-tackle accumulator who doesn’t square up ballcarriers and lay the lumber. Needs to play with more patience and discipline to avoid being a liability. Does well against blockers but could use his short-area quickness to slip them more frequently. Struggles with misdirection and is regularly lured into taking false steps by play fakes, negating his athleticism. Does some work in zone but wasn’t asked to play in man coverage or rush the passer very often; probably lacks the size to play against most tight ends. Could probably play on the outside in a defense with an even front but has limited snaps there. A player who has the type of frame and athleticism to develop into a contributor at the next level, but who needs to play with more patience and discipline in order to avoid being exploited by misdirection and play-fakes, as he won’t be able to rely on his speed as much as a pro.

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