LB Otara Alaka, Texas A&M

6’3” – 239 lbs. – 4.82
Started five games as a freshman, then sustained a season-ending injury three games into the subsequent season and ended up taking a medical redshirt. Started the next three seasons, posting 74-9.0-2.0, 78-12.0-5.5, and 79-14.5-4.0 in those campaigns. Tall, long-limbed, and well-built linebacker who takes snaps both inside and outside and often from the edge as a stand-up rusher. Very aggressive, twitchy player who gets up to speed in a hurry and likes to play downhill, as evidenced by having recorded over thirty tackles for loss over the past three years. Has impressive top-end speed to flow sideline to sideline and sling down opposing ballcarriers in pursuit. Closes well from the backside; long arms give him a good tackling radius. Able to get low and knife between blockers to penetrate. Not afraid to take on blockers and plays with the power and leverage to get physical with opponents, although he can get swallowed up by failing to extend his arms and letting them into his body. More energetic than likely to deliver bone-crushing hits. Can find himself out of position when dealing with misdirection and play fakes; gets sucked in because of his aggressiveness and takes himself out of position on some snaps. Generally stayed on the field on passing downs and looks like a promising blitzer for an aggressive defensive front; explosiveness and ability to convert speed to power can overwhelm running backs retained in pass protection, and can finish off quarterbacks who try to flee the pocket. Rushed from both the edge and the inside. Picked up over ten sacks over the past three years. Feel in zone coverage is a little bit lacking, and will lose some targets after letting them get behind him; looks more comfortable carrying opposing ballcarriers into the flats or spying quarterbacks than he does making drops. However, technique looks good in terms of his hips and balance. Didn’t have a ton of production on the ball in the passing game. A productive three-year starter with a great body and plenty of athleticism and functional strength, has the look of a potential starter who would fit well in a swarming defense that protects him with blockers and lets him flow to the ball. Could potentially play outside in either scheme, or inside in an odd front. Currently looks better when playing the run than he does in coverage, but the sky is the limit as far as his potential usage and with a little bit more patience and a better feel for zone coverage, looks like he could become a starter.

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