Scouting Report- Star Lotulelei

Posted: February 20, 2013 in 2013 NFL Draft, Mock Draft, NFL Combine, Views and opinions
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Star Lotulelei, Utah

2

Scouting Report

Position: Defensive Line

Class: Redshirt Senior

Size: 6’4 325 lbs.

Strengths: There are not many people in this draft or the draft’s past that have the mix of strength athleticism and football IQ as Lotulelei possess. He is an extreme force on the interior of the line. Out of all the defensive tackles in this draft he has the best initial contact punch of any. Lotulelei is extremely quick of the line of scrimmage and anticipates the snap count with the best of them. What you like to see about the guy is that his hands always fit inside of the offensive lineman’s chest plate, meaning he is always the first to strike his opponent and not the other way around. One thing that you may miss when just watching a game on TV is that Lotulelei does the little things that don’t get much credit. He will take on double teams, fight off reach blocks to stretch plays outside to the linebackers, and forces the center back into the quarterback’s lap causing bad throws or broken plays. He cannot be reached by interior lineman; he is just too strong and quick off the ball. Lotulelei possesses above average arm length for an interior lineman which leads me to my next thought, he is scheme diverse. Lotulelei is long and quick enough to play 5 technique in a 3-4 scheme, or even hold down the nose tackle position (even though I think he is better suited NOT playing nose). If Lotulelei gets drafted to a 4-3 system like Oakland at pick three, he can easily fit in at the shade or 3 techniques. I feel the guy is that good and diverse. All in all, the guy eats up space, sheds blockers with ease, and makes plays in the backfield. He has done it for three years at a very high level, earning all conference the last two years and All American last year.

Weaknesses: One thing that really sticks out on film as a weakness is Lotulelei’s limited pass rush skills. While no team will draft him to sack the quarterback, he does need to work on counter moves and pass rushing maneuvers to fight off pass protection and put more pressure on the QB in passing situations. Most of the problems I see out of Lotulelei is when he is engaged with an offensive linemen  he struggles to get off blocks. He eats up space and cannot be moved, but once occupied he will have problems getting off to make tackles. It isn’t a huge issue I see all of the time, but when you start talking about potentially the best player in the Draft Class, you nitpick. Another problem I see with Lotulelei is that he over pursues to the football and up field when an offensive lineman steps away from him. Usually when an offensive lineman leaves a player completely unblocked (not as a mistake that is) it means one of two things, the play is away or they are going to bring a pulling or trapping offensive linemen to kick you out. Lotulelei has a lot of trouble seeing the pulling lineman and can, at times, easily be kicked out on run plays schemed at him. I saw this happen a couple of times, not many, but enough to make me think he needs to get better at diagnosing plays and blocking schemes.

Overall Impression: Since the Senior Bowl I have calmed on my feelings for Star Lotulelei, but I still think he is one of best players in this draft. What makes him so high on my list is that I can see him playing from Day 1 in just about any scheme or for any team. Lotulelei is just that good and he already has the NFL body and strength that you look for in these draft picks. He will only get better if he works like he has his entire career. He has an interesting back story in the fact that he signed to BYU out of high school but was not eligible  He worked moving furniture for a year and then went to Junior College and then off to Utah. He is married with a young child and is reported to be one of the most focused and hard working individuals to come from the Utah program. What does that mean for him you ask? He has come from adversity already; the rigors of NFL will be a welcome challenge to a guy who has come from nothing. Lotulelei will be a great addition to any team and should be a force along the defensive line for years to come.

Projected Draft Status: Picks 1-5 of the First Round

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  1. […] 1. Star Lotulelei, Utah- http://scoutingblitz.com/2013/02/20/scouting-report-star-lotulelei/ […]

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