Besides the fact that he has an apostrophe in his first name, and obviously, the goal of any football team is to have the fans not be able to spell their players name correctly, I think Hightower is the absolute right decision for the Eagles.
1. Luke Kuechly? - While I believe that Kuechly could be a very good linebacker for our team, I see him more as a weak side linebacker, someone who is better in coverage and not ready to take on the middle "thumper" role that we need. Kuechly bulked up for the combine and weighed in at 242 lbs. He may be a great tackler in college but we need a player that can get off a block and attack a running game.
2. Thumper? - Hightower played in a 3-4 defense in the middle while in college at Alabama. Some may see this as a deterrent, however, when it comes to implementing the Wide-9, we may be best served to look at an ILB from a 3-4, based on the fact that the outside linebackers were very much like our DE's, aimed at the QB, playing little or no run support. The ILB were very important in stopping the run, and rarely asked to blitz, just like in our Wide-9 system. Hightower is the same height as Kuechly, but plays at 265 lbs., as he measured in at the combine.
3. Steelers? - With the release of James Farrior many Steelers beat writers say that the Steelers are zeroing in on Dont'a Hightower for their ILB replacement. Call me crazy, but I trust the Steeler's evaluation of Line Backers. I was not in love with the pick of Lawrence Timmons over Paul Pozlusny a few years ago, but damn if they didn't get that right (Poz is still a great player, and I am a PSU fan so ya thats why I thought they would take him).
4. Reach? - Could this be viewed as a reach? Sure, but who f'n cares? If the player turns out to be better, I don't need to trade down and take him right before he is about to be taken off the board. Take the player that we need, and lock up middle linebacker for the next 10 years.
So honestly, I think if we need an anchor in the middle of our Defense, the answer should be someone who is an intimidating hitter and a leader on the field, which Dont'a was throughout his career at Alabama. So feel free to tell me why I am wrong, I am sure I have over looked a lot, but these are my points. Cheers!