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25 Days of Draftmas: Sione Takitaki could be the Sam linebacker of the future

Will Andy Reid add another BYU player to the Chiefs roster?

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Brigham Young Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

A very Merry Draftmas to you! It’s 25 Days of Draftmas on Arrowhead Pride, where we’ll be giving you a Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect every day in April leading up to the NFL Draft. You’ll get a daily prospect profile like this one right up until Draft Day.

Another day, another prospect for this year’s Draftmas! Today’s player of the day is a versatile linebacker out of BYU.

Sione Takitaki, linebacker

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

6’1” | 238lbs | BYU

Fontana, CA

Expected Draft Range: top 100

Combine: 4.63 second 40-yard dash, 24 bench press reps, 37” vertical jump, 125” broad jump, 4.28 second 20-yard shuttle, 7.21 second 3-cone drill

2018 Stats: 118 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks and three pass breakups

One-sentence bio: redshirt senior, turned his life around after an early theft charge his sophomore year in college; led the team in tackles in 2018 and was second in tackles for loss.

One-sentence scouting report: versatile linebacker who can rush the passer off the edge and drop into coverage.

One play:

How he fits in KC: Takitaki offers versatility at multiple positions and fits well as a hybrid defender under Chiefs linebackers coach Matt House. His long arms and ability to rush off the edge — as well as an ability to set the edge in the run game — make Takitaki an ideal Sam linebacker in Steve Spagnuolo’s 4-3 Under defense. He offers some coverage as a backup Mike linebacker and adds another potential element in sub rush packages. His ability to play special teams at a high level also makes him a perfect fit for the Chiefs.

He’ll need to get some positional focus, as BYU played him a pretty much everywhere in their defense. So he shows some sloppy technique, which is understandable for a player that may not have had a defined role throughout his college career. He has a tendency to overrun the tackle and he’s a little too light to play as a true EDGE at the next level, which will tend to drive his value down into the late third or early fourth round.

With his ability to rush the passer, drop into coverage and play the run as a Sam linebacker — all at a high level — Takitaki projects very favorably as a defender in Spagnuolo’s scheme.

Want to read more player profiles from Arrowhead Pride’s 25 Days of Draftmas? Click here for the complete list. And to stay informed on the players in which the Chiefs have shown interest, be sure to check out AP’s Chiefs draft prospect visit and workout tracker.

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