In the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Oregon Ducks linebacker Josh Kaddu. Kaddu comes to the Dolphins as a sideline-to-sideline type linebacker, using his quickness to cover up a lack of natural instincts about the game. With the Dolphins, Kaddu could be looked to transform into a pass rusher, doubling down on the ability to pressure the quarterback with third round pick Olivier Vernon, or they could use Kaddu's quickness to cover tight ends, a glaring need for Miami.
To get a better idea of what the Dolphins are getting in Kaddu, what better way than talk to the people who watched him over the past four years at Oregon? Doing just that, I talked to Matt Daddy from the SB Nation Oregon Ducks blog, Addicted to Quack.
Josh Kaddu is a solid strong side linebacker. When I say solid, I mean it in almost every aspect of his game. He is completely fundamentally sound for his position. Kaddu is not the most imposing physical linebacker that you'll see at only 6'3" 235, but he's got long arms, uses great technique at the point of attack and could easily add some more weight and strength to his frame.
His positional strengths come in his athletic ability and attacking downhill. Kaddu excels when his reads are limited. At Oregon, in their 3-4 scheme, he was used as a gap filler and run stuffer. He was an excellent compliment to the "drop end" linebacker in that he was strong enough to take on linemen and athletic enough to get around guys and make plays in the backfield. In his senior season he was 6th on the team in tackles with 50 and 2nd in tackles for a loss with 9.5.
Some of Kaddu's weaknesses come from his inability to accurately read and react. He isn't the greatest linebacker in coverage, but he's got enough athletic ability to stay with most tight ends. If given a year or two to learn his position, Kaddu could be an excellent compliment on the strong side in a 3-4 scheme. He may take longer to learn in a 4-3, as he is still developing his instincts.
I think you can expect to enjoy watching Kaddu mature on your team. In his sophomore year as a full time player for the first time, it was easy to see why the coaches wanted to get him on the field. It doesn't take Kaddu long to make plays. Unfortunately, you also have to be patient with his learning curve. By his senior season, all of that was gone and he was as solid as there is on the strong side.
Thanks to Matt for taking the time to share with us about Kaddu.