January 28, 2012; Mobile, AL, USA; South Squad wide receiver Juron Criner (82) of Arizona makes a touchdown catch in the fourth quarter while defended by North Squad defensive backs George Iloka (18) of Boise State and Donnie Fletcher (24) of Boston College during the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE
With their third and final fifth-round selection for the Bengals, acquired from the New York Giants in exchange for linebacker Keith Rivers, the Bengals decided to select Boise State safety George Iloka with the No. 167 overall pick. Iloka, the best safety available at this point in the draft, will add depth to a position that will likely be taken over by Taylor Mays along side Reggie Nelson in 2012.
Iloka has been very productive while at Boise State and is built like an outside linebacker rather than a typical safety. While he played free safety in college, he could probably play either free safety or strong safety because of his size, which makes him a good catch at this point in the draft because he could possibly play anywhere in the defensive backfield down the road. He's extremely athletic and while he needs to work on his tackling and how to properly read plays, he will be a special teams contributor and he could find himself on the field in certain situations in the next couple seasons. Most experts feel that he has third-round value.
Iloka has been a very productive player for Boise State and has been a factor for the Broncos since arriving in 2008. He is a superb zone defender who understands how to diagnose and react to plays. He is the quarterback of the secondary and has length to make plays and the speed to give him range in zone. He should be a backup and contribute early on, and he carries third-round value.
STRENGTHS Iloka can diagnose a play and be in position in zone. He aligns very deep but has the speed to react and get involved when he needs to. He takes off once he makes a decision. He has good body control to break down and tackle or leap to make a play on the ball. He is reliable at making the interception when in front of it and comes down hard to meet running backs in run support.
WEAKNESSES Iloka can struggle when having to mirror in man. He doesn't give up deep plays because he plays so far back, but this could also be considered a knock on him because he likely will have to align closer to the line of scrimmage in the NFL.
|Production||"2008: (13/5) -- 62--6--4 2009: (14/14) --48--5--1 2010: (13/13) - 63--5--2 2010: (13/13) -- 58-1-0 (3 TFL, 1 FF)"|
|Height-Weight-Speed||"Built like an outside linebacker and has long arms (33 7/8) and big hands (9 5/8). Extremely high cut and long limbed, which can work against him in space. Top-end speed is average at best. Surprisingly tested well with agility drills at Combine; 4.03 short-shuttle and 7.02 three cone."|
|Durability||"Did not miss a game during four seasons at Boise State. Battled through nagging injuries throughout the 2009 season, including turf toe, as well as foot and ankle injuries. "|
|Intangibles||Pronounced: 'eye-LOKE-uh.' Accountable and handles business both on and off the field. Graduated from high school early to enroll in the program.|
|Instincts/Recognition||Possesses adequate diagnostic skills. Does a nice job of playing with discipline in coverage and maintaining strong position when aligned in zone. Reads QB eyes well and flashes good route-recognition and anticipation to get a quick break on the ball. But comes up short in terms of playmaking instincts. Does not have a great nose for the ball and is missing ball-hawk gene.|
|Cover Skills||Very quick feet. Actually flips his hips well for a 6035 safety and is an above average athlete. H as long strides and can cover a fair amount of pasture when aligned as a center fielder. At his best when breaking forward to make play on the ball. Has the size to match up well versus TEs but will get pushed around too much and needs to be more physical. Will have limitations if locked up in man coverage with slot WRs at the next level.|
|Ball Skills||"Generally takes sound angles to the point and is aggressive attacking the ball. Has long arms to separate the ball from the receiver and very good leaping ability to challenge the jump ball. But seems to come up short too often and is not a big playmaker (3 INTs last three years on a great defense). Hands are solid enough to make the routine INT but he lacks good body control to adjust, and he's not going to make many spectacular plays on the ball. "|
|Run Support||Diagnoses run quickly. Fills quickly and has good range versus run. Does a nice job of using hands to disengage from blocks. Has an LB body but the physicality of a free safety. A bit of a narrow based player. Has better upper-body power than lower-body strength. And the biggest issue is he misses too many tackles. Takes far too many poor angles and comes in hot far too often. Also will leave feet too often. Needs to learn to play under control and how to consistently break down in space.|