Scouting Notes | LB Micah Kiser Vs. Indiana

Draft season is upon us, so I will be periodically watching film on some of the upcoming prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. Typically, I choose players that I believe may fit the Buffalo Bills’ scheme, players on whom I have received some information, or just prospects who are interesting to me. Usually I will watch at least four games of a prospect before I come to final conclusions on their traits and will then assign a grade. During my film sessions I take copious, detailed notes, so I will try to share them with you in a manner that is digestible. These notes will not be final conclusions. Instead, they’re just pieces of information that I carry with me. Sometimes they will carry little weight in my final thoughts on a prospect because those traits may or may not shine through over the course of a season. With that said, enjoy the process and here are my notes from:

Oct 28, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers linebacker Micah Kiser (53) looks at the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

LB Micah Kiser – Virginia vs. Indiana

 

  • During research, I discovered that he was awarded the Campbell trophy.

The award, known as the “Academic Heisman,” recognizes an individual as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation from a pool that included all NCAA divisions and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

  • Game statistics – 14 total tackles, 4 solo, 2 sacks, 1 pass deflection.
  • Initial impression is that he had the thick upper and lower body similar to Bills LB Preston Brown. Moved and played in similar fashion, as well.
  • Appeared to be a run first defender. Average downhill burst once he recognized run, will fill his gap and force the cutback, but didn’t appear to have that ‘fire your gun’ mentality.

 

  • Average athleticism, feet/change of direction, quickness.
  • Appeared to be the most comfortable and biggest asset at or near the line of scrimmage. His play speed and processing seemed to be quicker and sharper. Eyes over hands and his play speed helped him disengage quicker, but still lacked an attack mode.

 

  • Brings power behind his pads when he tackles. Leads with pads and a jolt then wraps up. But not does not close the gap in an attacking manner.

 

  • Below average diagnosing run vs pass and had trouble tracking the ball on play action passes. Was a tad late on split flow action with running back going in one direction and a receiving threat coming across the formation into his area.

 

  • The offense appeared to attack him with those types of concepts several times when they needed a play.

 

  • But later in the game, on 4th down, he reads the play well. Offense sends WR in motion in an attempt to pick off Kiser or cause him to lose sight of his assignment. He remains disciplined, immediately reads the RB running to the flats, gets on his horse, and even registers a pass deflection.

 

  • Short, choppy backpedal, doesn’t cover much ground, but has his eyes in the correct areas. Average man turn or ability to open his hips to wide receivers (resembles Preston Brown’s athleticism).
  • Was often utilized as a blitzer. Delayed blitzes, cross dog blitzes, blitzes off the edge.
  • Consistently timed his blitzes well, but didn’t display much as far as pass rush moves or bend.

 

  • Displayed good physicality during his blitzes. On one of his QB sacks, he let the guard pick up the Mike LB on the cross dog blitz so that he would be 1-on-1 with the running back. That ‘hunt’ mentality showed itself, as he knew he had the weaker opponent. Put his helmet into the chin of the smaller player, bench pressed him out of the way, and brought the QB down.

 

  • Virginia lost this game 34-17. Kiser didn’t impress me in this game and most of his tackles were assisted tackles. I like his thick frame, but that frame matches his run defender mentality. Didn’t see much in terms of coverage versus Indiana.
  • Plays inside linebacker in the Cavaliers’ 3-4 defense.
  • After one game, I do not think he is a fit for the Buffalo Bills’ defensive scheme.

 

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