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Dont'a Hightower | Linebacker

Team: New England Patriots
Age / DOB:  (24) / 3/12/1990
Ht / Wt:  6'3' / 270
College: Alabama
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Patriots SLB Dont'a Hightower wants to be used more as a pass rusher on third down.
"I'll just put it out there: I would much rather rush or blitz than to cover: zone, man, or whatever," Hightower said. The Patriots would rather him rush as well. Hightower was one of the worst cover linebackers in the league last season, but he does have some skills as a pass rusher. Still, he will likely be limited to a two-down role in 2014. May 3 - 9:11 AM

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Date:

ESPN Boston expects the Patriots to remove OLB Dont'a Hightower in all sub-packages this season.

Hightower was one of the worst cover linebackers in the league last year, so the Patriots are limiting him to more of a two-down role. Jamie Collins projects to get the majority of snaps opposite Jerod Mayo in nickel packages.
Source: ESPN Boston
Apr 18 - 7:57 PM

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower returned to the field in Week 7 after missing two games with a hamstring injury.

Hightower recorded seven tackles and a sack versus the Jets, bringing his season total to 28 total tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and a touchdown. He and Chandler Jones have been two of the most impressive defensive rookies in the league this season.
Fri, Oct 26, 2012 12:49:00 PM

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (hamstring) expects to be a game-time decision for Sunday versus the Broncos.

Hightower has put in a limited practice each day this week and says he has no pain in the hamstring. "It's up to coach. If he feels like I'm ready to go, then I'm going to go out there and do what I can," Hightower said of his stats. Tracy White filled in last week, and Bobby Carpenter was signed for depth.
Source: ESPN Boston
Fri, Oct 5, 2012 12:17:00 PM

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower left Sunday's win over the Bills with a hamstring injury, but a source tells the Herald that he's "good."

Hightower tried to get back in the game by stretching and riding the bike on the sideline, but never returned to the field. It's a sign of a Grade 1, or mild, strain. The rookie declined to comment on the injury after the game.
Sun, Sep 30, 2012 05:30:00 PM

CSN New England insider Tom Curran believes first-round LB Dont'a Hightower will have the biggest impact among all newcomers for the Patriots.

It's high praise considering the impressive training camps of Brandon Lloyd and fellow first-rounder Chandler Jones. Curran points out that Rob Ninkovich and Jermaine Cunningham have been mismatched at the position whereas the more versatile Hightower is ideally suited to the dual duties of stopping the run and covering tight ends. "Hightower has been unbelievable in training camp, and he's going to be unbelievable when the regular season starts," adds Curran.
Wed, Aug 8, 2012 11:38:00 PM

Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower is working with the first-team defense ahead of Bobby Carpenter.

It's surprising in that it wasn't expected to happen this early, but Hightower has the potential to be a major contributor. In addition to working as the Patriots' starting strong-side linebacker, he'll provide depth behind Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes in sub-defenses.
Sat, Jul 28, 2012 08:17:00 PM

Patriots agreed to terms with rookie LB Dont'a Hightower, the No. 25 overall pick, on a four-year contract.

As expected, rookie signings at the top of the draft are picking up as urgency builds just ahead of training camp. Hightower is a versatile thumper who figures to challenge for the Patriots' starting strong-side linebacker job in 4-3 looks, while kicking inside in the 3-4. Hightower's primary competition for snaps this August will come from Rob Ninkovich and Bobby Carpenter.
Wed, Jul 18, 2012 02:20:00 PM

ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss points out that No. 25 pick LB Dont'a Hightower's contract is being held up by fourth-year guarantees.

It's the same issue several players picked in the late first round are having, including No. 22 pick Brandon Weeden. Late first-rounders generally get the first three seasons of their four-year rookie deals guaranteed, but none or only some of the fourth. Reiss suggests Hightower could be waiting to see what happens with players around him before he signs.
Source: ESPN Boston
Sun, Jul 1, 2012 08:38:00 AM

The Boston Globe expects No. 25 pick Dont'a Hightower to become an immediate starter, likely at strong-side linebacker.

The position isn't set in stone, however. The Pats could decide that Hightower is best suited inside with Jerod Mayo freelancing more on the outside. Veteran SLB Rob Ninkovich will see his snaps reduced, allowing his legs to stay fresh for nickel packages. With Mayo, Hightower, and Brandon Spikes, New England has the potential for a lethal linebacker corps.
Fri, Apr 27, 2012 12:33:00 PM

According to SI.com's Peter King, the Ravens "loved" ILB Dont'a Hightower.

Baltimore would have likely stayed put at No. 29 had Hightower or Wisconsin OG Kevin Zeitler fallen. Hightower would have been the successor to 36-year-old Ray Lewis. King believes the Ravens will now target DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw at No. 35 overall.
Source: SI.com
Fri, Apr 27, 2012 10:58:00 AM

Patriots traded up with the Broncos to select Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Pats surrendered the No. 31 and No. 126 (fourth round) picks to move up for the second time in four selections. The fourth Crimson Tide player off the board, opinions are split on whether or not Hightower is a talented enough pass rusher to be a three-down player, but the Pats clearly believe he is. He should be primarily used as a run stopper as a rookie, but has just enough speed (4.68 Combine 40) to drop back into coverage. His selection isn't good news for Rob Ninkovich's IDP value.
Thu, Apr 26, 2012 10:26:00 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport "keeps hearing" the Steelers and Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower are a "match made in heaven."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has suggested that Hightower would be the pick at No. 24 since the Steelers released James Farrior two months ago. On Thursday, the Post-Gazette reiterated that Hightower is the "best bet" among a group consisting of NT Dontari Poe, OT Mike Adams, OG Kevin Zeitler, and OLB Nick Perry.
Thu, Apr 26, 2012 01:29:00 PM

ESPN Dallas reports there is a "strong possibility" that the Cowboys would target Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower if they execute a trade down, and out of the No. 14 overall pick.

ESPN's Ed Werder reported early Thursday that the Cowboys have had trade talks with the Chargers, who sit at No. 18. Hightower is an inside linebacker and that's not a need position for Dallas, but he is versatile and in some circles even considered a more explosive pass rusher than college teammate Courtney Upshaw. Trades down aren't executed nearly as often as teams would like, but the Cowboys are hoping to pull one off after seemingly giving up on Mark Barron.
Source: ESPN Dallas
Thu, Apr 26, 2012 11:07:00 AM

In a poll conducted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Alabama's Dont'a Hightower was the only middle linebacker other than Luke Kuechly to draw votes from scouts of 4-3 teams.

Hightower drew the lone first-place vote that didn't go to the Boston College star and finished with 26 points to Kuechly's 35 among 3-4 scouts at inside linebacker. Other scouts believe Hightower's best position will be strong-side outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. "If Hightower does thin down, he's going to make whoever drafts him smart," one personnel man said. "If he doesn't, and he goes the other way and gets fat, he will be a bust."
Wed, Apr 25, 2012 10:07:00 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Tom Brady
2Jimmy Garoppolo
RB1Shane Vereen
2Stevan Ridley
3James White
4Brandon Bolden
GLB1Stevan Ridley
2Shane Vereen
3RB1Shane Vereen
2James White
FB1James Develin
WR11Julian Edelman
2Danny Amendola
3Brian Tyms
WR21Aaron Dobson
2Brandon LaFell
3Kenbrell Thompkins
WR31Danny Amendola
TE1Rob Gronkowski
2Michael Hoomanawanui
3Tim Wright
K1Stephen Gostkowski