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ILB Donta Hightower - New England Patriots

6-2, 265Born: 3-12-1990College: AlabamaDrafted: Round 1, pick 25

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Photo: Winslow Townson, US Presswire

Summary

Hightower came into the league with a reputation as a 2-down run stopper, which seemed redundant with what Brandon Spikes brought to the team. He has developed into a very effective blitzer, however, and he isn't a liability in coverage either so that gives the coaches more incentive to keep him out there in passing situations. Jerod Mayo is more likely to see nickel snaps than him, which could limit his snap count some weeks but it's also likely that the Patriots will find a way to use all 3 LBs in many of their nickel packages. He played with a torn labrum last year and underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason. There were concerns he might not be ready for camp, but he avoided the PUP list and should be available to play during the preseason. (August 3)

FBG Staff Rankings

ILB Redraft - 51, 17, 49, 59
Overall Redraft - 65, 25
ILB Dynasty - 71, 49

Stats and Projections

YEARGTKLASTSCKFFFRINTPDTD
2012 NE 14 43 17 4 0 2 0 3 1
2013 NE 16 55 42 1 0 0 0 3 0
2014 NE 12 52 38 6 1 0 0 2 0
2015 PROJ-Rudnicki 16 56 * * * * * * *
2015 PROJ-Norton 16 47 * * * * * * *

* - Footballguys Insiders can see full projections on this page. See just below for how to sign up.

New England Patriots Team Links

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2015 Schedule

1vs Pittsburgh Steelers
2@ Buffalo Bills
3vs Jacksonville Jaguars
4--- BYE WEEK ---
5@ Dallas Cowboys
6@ Indianapolis Colts
7vs New York Jets
8vs Miami Dolphins
9vs Washington Redskins
10@ New York Giants
11vs Buffalo Bills
12@ Denver Broncos
13vs Philadelphia Eagles
14@ Houston Texans
15vs Tennessee Titans
16@ New York Jets
17@ Miami Dolphins