After a big 2014 season, Dadi Nicolas was seen as a likely first or second round pick if he could have just as good of a senior season. Nicolas considered leaving early for the NFL, but stayed for his senior season and saw hand injuries hurt his draft stock and performance, but Nicolas still had 45 tackles, 7 total tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.
On draft day, Nicolas took a slight slide with many expecting he would go in the third or fourth round, but Nicolas did find a NFL home.
Dadi Nicolas was selected 203rd overall in the sixth round by the Kansas City Chiefs, and became the second Hokie selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. Nicolas becomes the latest Florida native to go to Blacksburg and get drafted while also giving Charley Wiles another defensive lineman that went on to the NFL.
Nicolas played defensive end for the Hokies, but his size makes him more suited to be a 3-4 OLB which he will be able to do in Kansas City. Playing in a 3-4 scheme should allow his quick first step and athleticism to be of better use to help him get some more momentum off the line and allow him to play more in space where a smaller but more athletic pass rusher should thrive more.
Nicolas will also have some time to make the transition from playing defensive end to outside linebacker with the Chiefs having Justin Houston and Tamba Hali currently at those two spots. This time on the bench will allow Nicolas to improve his pass coverage skills that he used rarely while playing defensive end in Blacksburg.
With his athleticism and speed, Nicolas also seems like someone who could make a big impact on special teams as a rookie. More than anything, Nicolas still has the upside that could have made him a late first to second round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and could also be the Chiefs’ long-term replacement for Hali who will turn 33 this fall.
Dadi Nicolas and the Kansas City Chiefs are a great match as Nicolas has the time to develop behind two very good 3-4 OLBs along with the Chiefs getting the potential heir to Tamba Hali.