NFL Draft Buzz: DE Ikaika Alama-Francis

Currently ranked No. 43 overall in this year's draft by NFL Expert Tom Marino, Hawaii DE Ikaika Alama-Francis already has three visits set and an important dinner engagement with the Jets this week. And find out who wants to check him out as a tight end. Ed Thompson has the details inside....

If you don't count his single year of Pop Warner football, Ikaika Alama-Francis has played just three years of organized football, beginning in his sophomore year at the University of Hawaii. But after two sensational years as a starter at defensive end, he's a hot prospect that is drawing interest at defensive end, outside linebacker, and even tight end.

A source close to the Alama-Francis told me that he's drawing so much interest that at his Pro Day on Thursday, he'll even work out as a tight end after the Giants and the Chiefs both expressed interest in him at the position.

The 6-foot-5, 280 pound athlete wasn't able to workout at the NFL Combine due to a torn pectoral muscle he sustained while playing in the Hula Bowl. But he's anxious to show that he's fully recovered and ready to play.

My source confirmed that Alama-Francis will start his first of three visits on April 1st with the Colts, will then head directly to Pittsburgh on the 2nd, and will then visit with the Cleveland Browns on the 3rd. But one team is planning to get a jump on getting to know the personable young man even better. I've been told that Alama-Francis is scheduled to have dinner this Wednesday with Jets head coach Eric Mangini in California.

Alama-Francis' star has risen quickly at the University of Hawaii under a pair of former NFL head coaches -- June Jones and Jerry Glanville, who are the head coach and defensive coordinator, respectively, at the school. Jones has been quoted as saying that he and Glanville have talked about how they never coached a defensive end as good as Alama-Francis while they were in the NFL.

To learn more about him, click here to visit his Player Profile page. Check back at throughout the week for my interview with Ikaika Alama-Francis and other exciting players who could be on your favorite team's draft board.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.

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