2016 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Boise St OLB Kamalei Correa

As you should know by now, our attention has now shifted to the 2016 NFL Draft as it relates to the prospects. From now until the draft takes place, we hope to profile as many draft prospects as we possibly can for you. Most of these player profiles will be centered around prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have interest in.

Back to the front seven with outside linebacker Kamalei Correa.

#8 Kamalei Correa/OLB Boise St: 6’2/5 243

The Good

– Explosive player, more so with his hand down than standing up, who is good for a splash play off the edge each game
– Uses his hands well in both phases, able to stab and create separation as a pass rusher to dip the edge while setting the edge and getting off blocks in the run despite a lack of natural strength/length
– Ability to convert speed to power as a rusher, packs a strong initial punch capable of knocking tackles off their base
– Versatile, played both sides, up and down, with left/right hand in dirt, off ball in sub-package and base
– Drops into coverage at least a few times per game though they’re always shallow zones, no man/man
– Flashes versatility as a pass rusher, has just enough moves to show you that he’s thinking, and uses them effectively
– High amount of production and had a durable career, never missed a game

The Bad

– Uninspiring frame who lacks length (31 5/8 inch arms)
– Not innately strong, uses explosion to create power
– Will have to play with his hand up at next level and shows less explosion in a two point stance
– Some minor technical rush problems, needs to how tighter hands on his bull rush to create power and leverage
– Did not time exceptionally well at the Combine
– Has not played a lot of football
– Slight though expected statistical regression in 2015


– Two year starter, 27 career games
– Left school as a true junior, only three years in college
– 2015: 11 TFL, 7 sacks, 3 FF
– 2014: 19 TFL, 12 sacks, 2 FF

Tape Breakdown

Correa is a difficult evaluation. With his frame, there is zero debate about his home at the next level. Standing up as an outside linebacker in an odd front. But he’s just show explosive with his hand down, it almost feels like a waste.

As the right end, watch him burst off the line and absolutely steam roll the left tackle. Daaaang.

And again here against this Virginia left tackle.

Despite being undersized and underpowered, he stays clean and works off blocks, allowing him to set the edge.

As the ROLB, Correa closes the door as the back tries to bounce this run.

Like his hand use. Quick hands, stays clean, and able to stab lineman to create separation. Owns the NIU left tackle on a play that resulted in a strip sack recovered by Boise.


And to be clear. It’s not that he can’t be explosive out of a two point stance. He just isn’t as naturally drawn to it and his poor vertical and broad jump numbers but his solid ten yard split and overall 40.

The obvious negatives weren’t many, to be honest. Want to see tighter hands on his bull. The right tackle is able to anchor and stop Correa pretty easily here.

And on some inside runs, he can get stuck on blocks due to a lack of length and strength. Can’t work off the left tackle in the GIF below.

Correa is a decent prospect in a class that does not have elite talent. His ability to set the edge is crucial, even if he isn’t a big, strong-anchored player, though it’s far to wonder if that will translate in the NFL. But given the fact he’s already technically sound and he has a chance. Technique can overcome innate limitations. That understanding makes him a better prospect coming out than Jarvis Jones, even though their build and measurables. But is he going to be an explosive enough pass rusher or struggle with the same woes as Jones? It’s dicey and when there’s doubt, it’s troubling.

He may very well fit into that “too early for 25th, too late for 58th” space it feels so many players are in. I wouldn’t hate the pick, and I think he’ll be a more potent pass rusher than Jarvis, but I can’t help but escape those some feelings that crept in when they took Jones. A coin flip, a “I’m not sure how this one will turn out.” The failure of Jones doesn’t drive my picks, that’s logic built on sand, but when you feel that way about a player, you don’t pull the trigger unless the value is awesome.

Projection: Late 2nd-Early 3rd

Games Watched: at BYU, at Virginia, at Colorado St, vs Northern Illinois (Bowl)

Previous Player Profiles
Hunter HenryEli AppleLaquon TreadwellDadi NicolasKendall Fuller
Deion JonesJihad WardKevin PetersonVonn BellMichael Caputo
Andrew BillingsMackensie AlexanderTyler ErvinAustin BlytheChris Jones
Sheldon RankinsNoah SpenceJordan JenkinsYannick NgakoueDarian Thompson
Bryce WilliamsCre’von LeblancHenry Krieger-CobleLeonard FloydJosh Garnett
Kevin HoganCorey ColemanShaq LawsonAustin JohnsonDeAndre Houston-Carson
William Jackson IIIVernon ButlerSean DavisTyler BoydJalen Ramsey
Taveze CalhounGermain IfediNick VannettJack AllenAlonzo Russell
Leonte CarrooTyler HigbeeKeanu NealCyrus JonesD.J. White
Austin HooperTyvis PowellJeremy CashDevon CajusteDeiondre’ Hall
Justin SimmonsJonathan JonesLawrence ThomasJason SpriggsCarl Nassib
Ken CrawleyKyler FackrellRashard HigginsNelson Spruce

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • PittsburghSports

    What’d you think about his ability to bend the edge? Looks decent in that pic you have of him, but I don’t remember a whole lot of it when I was watching the tape. Doesn’t seem like he has a plan or counters much either. There was a ton of hype about him recently, and some putting him in rd 1 even, but other than being a high energy guy and having a nasty streak, I’m not seeing much. If I was PIT, I wouldn’t touch him until rd 3.

  • Tom Jackson

    Yeah those 1st RND rumors about him are really weird. I don’t hate Correa as a prospect but RND 1, give me break. It’s nothing against him but I hope we grab for someone a little earlier and more talented.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Thanks Alex. I’m glad to see another OLB profile. That position is pretty thin this year. I think I like Jordan Jenkins from Georgia a little more. Dave did a nice profile on him. His 34 1/4 arms and 11 1/4 hands are really hard to ignore. I wouldn’t mind seeing a profile of Josh Perry from Ohio State. Keep up the good work. I do appreciate all of the hard work you guys put in. I just don’t have the time to watch film.

  • Alex Kozora

    I think it’s ok. Seen him get run up the arc, too. His hand use, like we see in that picture, is how he stays clean and corners. Stab the tackle, not let him get his hands into your pads and push you up. Stay in control. That’s what Correa does well. Physically, innately, his flexibility is just average.

  • Alex Kozora

    Thank you Bill.

  • LucasY59

    I like Jenkins as well, but Correa is much more explosive (but agree Jenkins has the better size/build) I think with Jenkins the production wouldnt be much better than what they already have with Jarvis so he would just be a depth/rotational guy (have similar concerns with Correa, but at least he should have one Impact play a game, which is more than what I would expect from Jenkins) I like the value of knowing Jenkins should be available in the 3rd maybe even 4th so they dont have to use a earlier pick (but would rather use a 5th on him …and they dont have one, but also probably wouldnt be able to get him that late since there is a lack of OLBs in this draft)

  • LucasY59

    This is the guy I really like for the Steelers (my Fav of the earlier rd OLBs) if they get a DB in the 2nd, I am hoping he will be available in the 3rd (I dont think he is worth the 2nd rd pick, but lack of good OLB edge rushers probably pushes him into the 2nd)

    I think he could be good in a rotation with Jarvis and between the two could get a sack total of around 10 (maybe a few more) If Bud is able to get double digit sacks accross from them that is pretty good production for the OLBs (especially when Heyward and Tuitt will get at least a dozen between them, and the ILB should get half of what the DEs get as well, throw in a few spash plays from some other guys and they are approaching 50)

    Add Chick as a depth player behind Bud (and maybe get him in on more sub packages) and they have a pretty good young group of OLBs for the future.

    If they get Correa to rotate with Jarvis it could be a good thing (instead of getting a guy like Spence in the 1st who is a big enough investment that they probably move on from Jarvis *but Im not sure Spence is much different or better than Jones)

    Jarvis wont command a big contract to stay if he is a guy that they need to rotate (he might leave to try and prove he is good enough not to rotate, but has had enough opportunity with the Steelers that I dont think it is likely) Jarvis wont be a double digit sack guy, but he is a solid player that I think is worth keeping around (especially since my point is they cant afford to keep a superstar OLB, that would command a big $ contract)

    If Dupree ends up being as good as we hope, he will be the expensive guy and they definitely cant afford to pay two when they can barely afford one. (having the four I mentioned, or a different rookie this yr or maybe even next looks like a good way to move forward at the OLB position)

    Having Harrison this yr (and Moats) plus trying to give Jarvis enough snaps 75-80% to see if he is worth his next contract (James gets the other 20-25, it will be hard to keep it any lower than that) makes for drafting a OLB this yr to be somewhat of a problem from a roster standpoint (and the rookie would have to be inactive because there arent enough snaps to give him anyway) Dupree should be getting 80% (or more) of the LOLB snaps, and I would like to see Chick getting the other 20 (Moats maybe, but I like Chickillo’s upside much better)

    there is already 5 OLBs and the rookie makes for one too many (James could decide to retire, but I want them to get him another ring and let him retire as a champ, and I also want him to break the teams career sack record) Chick could possibly be a PS guy (but like I said I want him for the future) Moats is a good depth player and ST guy so getting rid of him for a rookie might not be a good move on a contending team.

    Like I said waiting till next yr, might be a good idea, IF Jarvis does nothing with increased play time, it might force them into a 1st rd OLB next yr, and not having anyone signed past this season other than Bud and Chick, kinda looks bad, but Jarvis could be kept as a rotational guy for a few more yrs (again at a smaller contract, but if he doesnt produce this yr he should be willing to accept it) Moats would probably be willing to stay for another Depth player contract as well. James is definitely retiring and they Draft a rookie (not so bleak of a outlook to me, and very similar to what they would do this yr, but doing it next yr saves a draft pick for a different position)

    My other thought on the OLB situation is getting a guy like Tyrone Holmes with a 7th rdr or UDFA, have him on the PS and then they have a little insurance for the next offseason (he was the FCS DPOY and had 14.5 sacks last season) so I think he could develop into a decent player, but is also someone who doesnt cost a high draft pick and should be able to be stashed on the PS for a yr without too much risk of being poached

  • popsiclesticks

    My draft pipe-dream is Floyd falling to 1.25. Guy seems like he was built in the same lab as Randy Gregory but brought up as a 3-4 linebacker. He’s got pretty decent technique for an electric college pass rusher.

  • steelers_26

    One of the biggest recent mistake was not to get Saquil Barrett as an UDFA. He had link with Joey Porter and hes ding pretty good with the Broncos, but i think he would be doing even better with Joey and the Steelers….

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Sometimes need trumps value and makes you take people you may not normally take.