Nick Kwiatkoski
refer to caption
Kwiatkoski in the 2019 NFL season
Personal information
Born: (1993-05-26) May 26, 1993 (age 28)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:242 lb (110 kg)
Career information
High school:Bethel Park (Bethel Park, Pennsylvania)
College:West Virginia
Position:Linebacker
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 4 / Pick: 113
Career history
Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2021
Total tackles:286
Sacks:7.0
Forced fumbles:6
Pass deflections:12
Interceptions:2
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Niches John “Nick” Kwiatkoski (born May 26, 1993)[1] is an American football linebacker who is a free agent. He played college football at West Virginia. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.

High school career

Kwiatkoski attended Bethel Park High School where he played wide receiver and safety.[2] He was also named to the 2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's preseason Fabulous 22 list.[2] He missed the first two months of his senior season with a back injury.[2] That season, he was selected to play in the Chesapeake Bowl.[2] He was ranked the 32nd on Rivals.com's list of Pennsylvania's post-season top 40 players.[2]

College career

Kwiatkoski then attended West Virginia University (WVU) where he majored in multidisciplinary studies.[3] As a freshman in 2011 he redshirted.[3] As a redshirt freshman in 2012, he appeared in 12 games, starting one. He recorded 28 tackles and three pass break-ups.[3] In 2013, as a redshirt sophomore, appeared in and started 10 games at the "Will" linebacker position. He recorded a team-leading 86 tackles, 6.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and tied for second on the team with three interceptions. For the season, he was named Second team All-Big 12 by Phil Steele. He also finished sixth in the Big 12 and 30th in the nation in solo tackles with 54. IN addition, ranked fifth in the conference in total tackles.[3]

In 2014 as a redshirt junior, Kwiatkoski started all 13 games. He led the team with 103 tackles while simultaneously leading with 71 solo tackles. In addition, he was the team leader in tackles-for-loss with 11.5. He also recorded an assisted sack and four pass-breakups. For the season, he ranked fifth in the Big 12 in solo tackles, tied for ninth in the Big 12 in total tackles and for 12th in the conference in tackles-for-loss.[3] As a redshirt senior in 2015, he appeared in all 13 games. He recorded 86 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss, three interceptions and one forced fumble.[3]

Career statistics

West Virginia Mountaineers career statistics[3]
Year Team GP/GS Tackles Sacks Pass defense Fumbles Safeties TDs
Solo Ast Total TFL No Int PD FF FR
2011 WVU 0 / 0 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2012 WVU 12 / 1 17 11 28 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0
2013 WVU 10 / 10 54 32 86 6.5 2 3 0 2 0 0 0
2014 WVU 13 / 13 71 32 103 11.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 WVU 13 / 13 63 23 86 10 0 3 0 1 0 0 0
Career 48 / 37 205 98 303 28 2 6 3 3 0 0 0

Professional career

On December 1, 2015, it was announced that Kwiatkoski had accepted his invitation to play in the 2016 Senior Bowl.[4] On January 30, 2016, Kwiatkoski recorded three combined tackles as part of Dallas Cowboys' head coach Jason Garrett 's North team that lost 27–16 to the South.[5] Kwiatkoski attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and completed all of the combine and positional drills. On April 1, 2016, Kwiatkoski participated at West Virginia's pro day, but opted to stand on his combine numbers and only performed positional drills. Kwiatkoski attended a single pre-draft visit with the Philadelphia Eagles.[6] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Kwiatkoski was projected to be a fourth or fifth round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked as the 14th best outside linebacker prospect in the draft by DraftScout.com.[7]

External video
video icon Nick Kwiatkoski's NFL Combine Workout
Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
243 lb
(110 kg)
31+34 in
(0.81 m)
9+12 in
(0.24 m)
4.73 s 1.62 s 2.73 s 4.22 s 7.16 s 32 in
(0.81 m)
10 ft 0 in
(3.05 m)
19 reps
All values from NFL Combine[8][7]

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears selected Kwiatkoski in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft; to draft him, the Bears traded their fourth (117th overall) and sixth round picks (206th overall) to the Los Angeles Rams in order to move up.[9] He was the 15th linebacker drafted in 2016. On May 9, 2016, the Bears signed Kwiatkoski to a four-year, $2.91 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $575,120.[10]

External video
video icon Bears draft Kwiatkoski 113th overall
video icon NFL Draft Profile: Nick Kwiatkoski

Kwiatkoski started seven games during his rookie year and led the team in tackles in two games (six against the Tennessee Titans, nine against the Detroit Lions). The following year, he appeared in eleven games (starting six) as he recorded 47 tackles and two sacks.[11] He ended the 2017 season as the third-best inside linebacker in run-stop percentage and fourth-best in pass-rush productivity according to Pro Football Focus.[12]

He opened 2018 as the starting inside linebacker before rookie Roquan Smith took over the role.[13] In Week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings, Kwiatkoski caught a pass from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on a two-point conversion play dubbed "Lollipop"; it was Kwiatkoski's first reception since high school.[14][15]

In Week 4 of the 2019 season against the Vikings, he started in place of an injured Smith. In the game, he recorded a team-high ten tackles and sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins once in the 16–6 win.[16] In Week 10 against the Detroit Lions, Kwiatkoski recorded a sack and an interception off Jeff Driskel in the 20–13 win. [17]

Las Vegas Raiders

On March 27, 2020, Kwiatkoski signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.[18]

In Week 8 against the Cleveland Browns, Kwiatkoski forced a fumble on tight end Harrison Bryant which was recovered by the Raiders during the 16–6 win. This was Kwiatkoski's first turnover as a Raider.[19] In Week 10 against the Denver Broncos, Kwiatkoski recorded his first interception as a Raider off a pass thrown by Drew Lock late in the fourth quarter to secure a 37–12 win.[20] In Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons, Kwiatkoski recorded his first sack of the season on Matt Ryan during the 43–6 loss.[21] Kwiatkowski was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Raiders on December 23, 2020.[22]

On December 8, 2021, Kwiatkoski was placed on injured reserve.[23]

On March 16, 2022, Kwiatkoski was released by the Raiders.

References

  1. ^ "Nick Kwiatkoski". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Nick Kwiatkoski". WVUSports.com. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Nick Kwiatkoski stats". WVUSports.com. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "Prospects who have accepted invites to the 2016 Senior Bowl". elevenwarriors.com. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  5. ^ "KJ Dillon, Nick Kwiatkoski shine at Senior Bowl". thedaonline.com. February 1, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  6. ^ Brandon Lee Gowton (April 6, 2016). "NFL Draft 2016: Eagles host WVU linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski on pre-draft visit". bleedinggreennation.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Nick Kwiatkoski, DS #14 OLB, West Virginia". DraftScout.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  8. ^ "Nick Kwiatkoski Draft Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Brian Jones (April 30, 2016). "Chicago Bears trade up to draft LB Kwiatkoski". 247sports.com. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  10. ^ LeGere, Bob (May 9, 2016). "7 NFL draft picks sign contracts with Chicago Bears". Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Nick Kwiatkoski". Chicago Bears. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Perez, Bryan (June 19, 2018). "Bears' Nick Kwiatkoski was a top-5 inside linebacker in 2017". NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  13. ^ Eurich, Matt (July 2, 2019). "Roquan Smith predicted to have breakout 2019 for Chicago Bears". 247Sports.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  14. ^ Stankevitz, JJ (December 30, 2018). "Bears respond to Matt Nagy's win-at-all-costs plan by throttling Vikings on way to playoffs". NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  15. ^ "Game-clinching drive defines Nagy's Chicago Bears". Arizona Daily Star. December 30, 2018. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  16. ^ "Bears lose Trubisky, shut down Cook in 16-6 win over Vikings". www.espn.com. September 29, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  17. ^ "Trubisky, Bears hang on to beat Lions 20-13 as Stafford sits". www.espn.com. November 10, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  18. ^ Gantt, Darin (March 16, 2020). "Nick Kwiatkoski heading to Raiders". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  19. ^ "Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns - November 1st, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  20. ^ "Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders - November 15th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  21. ^ "Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons – November 29th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  22. ^ Simmons, Myles (December 23, 2020). "Raiders place Nick Kwiatkoski on COVID-19 list". NBCSports.com. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  23. ^ Raiders Public Relations (December 8, 2021). "Raiders place Drake and Kwiatkoski on IR, sign Compton to practice squad". Raiders.com. Retrieved December 11, 2021.