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Mathias Kiwanuka

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Mathias Kiwanuka DE 6’5 255 Boston College
By: Robert Davis

NFL Combine Stats: 40-yard dash - 4.73

Mathias Kiwanuka has emerged as one of the most feared pass rushers in college football, and will likely be one of the top defensive players available for the 2006 draft. As a sophomore in 2003, Kiwanuka blew up and finished the year with 83 tackles, 16.5 for loss, and 11.5 sacks. That set him up for a lot of attention as a junior, but he did not disappoint. He came through with 67 tackles, an amazing 25.5 tackles for loss, and a Big East leading 11.5 sacks despite being the focal point of opposing coordinators. Kiwi's numbers were not quite as high this season, though he still managed to come up with 51 tackles, 16.5 for loss, and 9.5 sacks.

Kiwanuka’s upside is tremendous. Physically, he has it all. He’s tall, athletic, quick, and strong. He can change gameplans with his big play ability. Once he gets moving forward, his quickness and athleticism make him a major pass rushing threat. With his height and wingspan, Mathias can also disrupt passing lanes for quarterbacks.

With all his success, Kiwi is still a work in progress. He relies on his natural gifts too much. With his height, he needs to work on coming off the snap quicker and staying low when engaged with a lineman. At times he will get too high and be taken out of the play. With his large frame, Kiwanuka could also stand to use some more weight at the next level.

Kiwi has as much upside as any defensive player in this draft. He has the physical gifts NFL teams covet as a pass rusher these days. He is an athletic pass rusher, but he has the frame to add the weight to become a very well rounded end. Kiwanuka has seen his stock drop a bit as the post season continues on. He was neutralized by Daryn Colledge against Boise St, then had some troubles at the Senior Bowl before going home with an injury. He still has the talent to be a difference maker at the next level, and should be a first rounder.

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