Kiser has used his instincts, hustle, and powerful tackling to become one of the most productive linebackers (both against the run and as a pass rusher) in the country during his three years on the field with the Cavaliers. The two-time All-Maryland pick and Baltimore Sun's Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, Kiser redshirted his first year in Charlottesville. He made 15 tackles in 12 games as a reserve as a freshman, tying for the team lead with nine stops on special teams. Kiser was installed in the middle of the Cavs' 
defense in 2015 and finished his second-team All-ACC sophomore year with a conference-leading 115 tackles (13 for loss, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles). The hits kept coming in his junior campaign, as Kiser was a first-team Associated Press All-American and All-ACC pick after ranking third in the country with 11.2 tackles per game (134 total, 10 for loss, 6.5 sacks, seven passes defensed) and tying for fifth in the FBS with five forced fumbles. He ranked among the nation's leaders in tackles again in 2017, receiving third-team AP All-American and first-team All-ACC honors with 145 stops (50 solo), 9.5 for loss, five sacks, four pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries.
Kiser's impressive production didn't happen on accident and teams will have to weigh his consistent ability to make plays with his modest athletic ability and overall play speed. Kiser is a banger built to play inside the box, but he has limited range and may not offer much coverage ability. Unless he runs well and puts together a solid workout, he could fall in this draft, but his toughness and production give him a shot to be a backup.
  • Built with a sturdy base and banger's frame
  • Quick to diagnose and respond
  • Makes tackles near the line of scrimmage and doesn't wait on running backs to get to him
  • Recognizes cutback lanes and fills the fit to look up runners in the cutback lane
  • Tough guy who likes contact
  • Brings it to second level climbing blockers with stiff shoulder or a powerful punch
  • Has the play strength and leverage advantage to play under blocker's pads
  • Willing to fire downhill into his run fits to close off the lane
  • Never over-pursues
  • Tackle production and impact play totals are staggering with 397 tackles, 33.5 tackles for losses, 19 sacks and eight forced fumbles over three years as a starter
  • Possesses thickly bundled hips that limit bend and movement
  • Short stepper short area trigger burst
  • Needs to do better job of dropping pad level as a tackler
  • Running backs can drive through his contact and fall forward for additional yardage
  • Makes a lot of tackles but will miss a lot of tackles as well
  • Below average play speed and burst create challenging tackle angles once he gets to the spot
  • Gradual in his change of direction movement
  • Doesn't have desired NFL range
  • Sluggish lateral quickness means he better diagnose early
  • Is a liability in man coverage
  • Will struggle to match patterns from man coverage
Lance Zierlein (NFL.COM)