Boise State Senior
Has good size with a tall, long-armed frame. Is a capable run defender that is comfortable playing up in the box. Does a nice job coming upfield and setting the edge against outside runs. Can break down and wrap up to make the open field stop. Has some pop as a hitter, able to deliver a hit with good closing burst on the ballcarrier. Can also play centerfielder and does a nice job keeping things in front of him. Has enough ball skills to break up the floaters and deep throws over the middle. Will jump some patterns and break up passes. Has experience lining up against slot receivers and tight ends and comfortable keeping things in front of him. Closes well on the ball to prevent yards after the catch. Can play on special teams and can make plays there.
Has very average speed and can get exposed when he's lining up against faster receivers. Not going to be as effective covering receivers at the next level as he is in college. Doesn't have great closing burst on the ball in the air to make a ton of plays in zone coverage. Lacks ideal burst out of his breaks and doesn't have great hips to turn and run with speed down the seam. WIll give up too much cushion at times. Can get caught out of position at times against the pass over the middle or when defending the run. His range against the run is limited because of his average speed.
Iloka is a king-sized safety that has the versatility to match up in coverage and defend against the run. He played free safety at Boise State, but his skillset is better suited to playing strong safety in the pros. His lack of speed and ideal range will limit his abilities at the centerfield position, and might be better suited playing up in the box. His ability to matchup in coverage against tight ends could be an asset for some teams. But he doesn't make a ton of plays in coverage, but he has the potential to be competent there.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/3) at Georgia: 1 stuff; 5 targets, 4 rec., 51 yds, 12.8 avg, 17 YAC, 0 TDS
(9/16) at Toledo: 2 tgt., 0 rec., 0 yds, 0 TDs, 1 PD
(11/12) vs. TCU: 1 stuff, 1 missed tackles; 4 tgt., 2 rec., 36 yds, 18.0 avg, 8 YAC, 0 TDs
(11/19) at San Diego St: 1.5 stuffs; 1 tgt., 1 rec., 3 yds, 0 YAC, 0 TDs
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 58 tackles, 3.0 TFLs, 0.0 sacks, 0 INTS, 1 PD, 1 FF, 0 FR
Iloka is more of a throwback strong safety than the modern safety that is considered more valuable as a ballhawking centerfielder. But Iloka can still carve out a niche in the pros at strong safety. He has the size you want in a guy that can match up with bigger tight ends. And while he's not going to be a guy that can shut those guys down, he can at least help contain them somewhat. He has some potential to develop in man coverage, but at this point in his career is not a guy that you want to leave on an island against a top level tight end. But the good thing about Iloka is that he was left on an island quite a bit in Boise State. And he would be brought down in the box at times to act as an extra linebacker to defend the run, a role he's comfortable with doing. His size is enough that if he struggles in coverage at safety, then a team can tinker with the idea of bulking him up and making him a nickel linebacker. Iloka can definitely carve out a niche as a reserve at the least if he doesn't prove to be a reliable enough starter. He could work in those big nickel sets as a hybrid safety/linebacker to try and help combat these elite tight ends that are numerous in the league now. He can definitely add depth for a team, contribute on special teams, and be in a position to contribute off the bench in the right scheme looking for an in-the-box linebacker/safety hybrid. If he becomes a starter, he's probably never going to be an elite safety and will definitely need to be teamed with a ballhawking centerfielder, similar to the dynamic that Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas have in Seattle. Iloka's problem is that while he has similar size as Chancellor, he's not nearly as explosive or rangy because of his mediocre speed. But he could be a poor man's Chancellor if developed and used properly. Another scheme he could fit is a 3-4 scheme, which in a lot of versions of that scheme like to bring up an extra safety to act as an in-the-box linebacker. The schemes of the Steelers and Jets with their blitz heavy looks tend to like having this type of extra defender in the box.
Iloka would be a nice developmental backup behind William Moore at strong safety. His ability to come in and play a bit of the big nickel sets as a hybrid linebacker-safety could be an asset. The problem is that Moore could also potentially play that spot, and he has better ball skills and speed than Iloka does. He's also a more sure tackler. So while Iloka could be a good backup, he's not the ideal candidate to be used in conjunction with Moore. Instead he would likely be a decent insurance policy to add depth and play on special teams in Atlanta, with limited upside to do much more beyond that. If Moore isn't retained as a free agent in a few years time, then Iloka could potentially step in and fill the void.
Iloka is a nice safety prospect that in certain schemes could be a valuable asset. But for most NFL teams he's only a depth piece. For a team looking for an in the box safety, he is probably worth a late third or fourth round pick. But for most teams he's mainly a depth piece that probably will be better value in the fifth round.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Man Coverage: 5.0
Zone Coverage: 6.0
Ball Skills: 6.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.