Football Intelligence –He can be quick to key and get downhill into attack mode, but goodness is he overly aggressive and reckless as he challenges blockers at the LOS. Blows assignments looking to deliver power blows instead of passing off contact or further finding the football.
Tackling –He's a boomer who brings some jarring his. He's guilty of dropping his head and can fly past a tackle challenge totally unaware of late adjustments by ball carriers. He's pretty wild in this area and needs to dial back looking for killshots.
Block Shedding –His length and power offer him a lot of room for growth to punch, stun, stack and shuck offensive lineman. He's one of the more potent LBs in the class from a power perspective but inconsistencies litter his reps as he tries to bump inside.
Competitive Toughness –He's a hammer. Will blow up linemen by dropping his pads and looking to blow up the gap. His effort level is strong but he works harder than he has to because his angles can be over-aggressive. Clearly loves to play in the box.
Lateral Mobility –Modest range and pretty pedestrian when he's tasked with playing laterally and trying to challenge outside the numbers. His pace gets better as he opens his hips and gets everything aligned towards his eventual target.
Coverage Skills –Hardly an area of strength. He doesn't illustrate a lot of natural instinct in space to shade or slide across to take away throwing windows as he's isolated in the middle of the field. His man to man cover skills require a lot of additional work in all phases.
Gap Shooting Ability –One of his best qualities, by far. He's quick to see a developing opportunity to explode into the LOS and stuff up the hole. His suddenness in click and close situations really shines. He's got to find good habits finishing plays in this space, however.
Feet/Change of Direction –Much less effective in lateral situations relative to the mobility he brings between the tackles. His suddenness and redirection abilities are compromised by leaving his feet all together. He doesn't have a lot of fluidity or finesse in short spaces.
Flexibility –Does not possess a lot of lateral lean or tilt, which hinders his pace in pursuit when he's forced up-field or when he has to work back across his path to react to cuts from the back. Won't corner well off the edge as a blitzer.
First Step Quickness –He's actually pretty decisive here and will hammer home his charges up the field. Brings a lot of momentum in a fairly short space to walk back and collapse blockers who have settled down into his pathway as a blitzer.
BEST TRAIT – Explosive Power
WORST TRAIT – Football IQ
BEST FILM – South Carolina (2018)
WORST FILM – Auburn (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Otaro Alaka projects as a plugging ILB at the pro level. Alaka has the necessary explosive power through his frame to really jar blockers and he thrives in physical confrontations, but he's extremely reckless as a defender and doesn't hold his contain or gap control all that well. As a result, Alaka and his potent hitting power need to be reeled in before he's asked to play the role of a starter in the pros, but he's got potential down the road.
ROUND GRADE - Sixth Round