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Cowboys’ Potential Pick: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

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At Dallas Morning News, I analyzed the possibility of Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei falling to the Cowboys. From my scouting report on Lotulelei:

Lotulelei is a big, powerful defensive tackle capable of playing a variety of positions in the NFL. He played primarily nose tackle for Utah, but some have likened him to a Haloti Ngata-like player that could play all along the line in a 3-4 front. In a 4-3 defense, Lotulelei could play both defensive tackle positions. Despite his 6-3, 311-pound frame, Lotulelei has the requisite quickness to penetrate and make plays in the backfield. He had 20 tackles for loss in 2011 and 2012 despite facing constant double-teams.

Lotulelei is one of the few defensive tackles that possesses both elite power and short-area quickness. You can see various examples of both traits against USC. Watch him explode off of the ball at the 26 and 58-second marks below.

 

Lotulelei is capable of holding up at the point. You can see an example of his power at 6:58. He continually drives blockers into the backfield, yet he also has the quickness to shed them and make plays in space. The play he makes at the 1:31 mark—overpowering two blockers and using his quickness to make the play down the line—is an All-Pro caliber play.

If Lotulelei has a weakness, it’s that he doesn’t display much variety in his pass-rush. He was able to overpower blockers with such regularity in college that he never needed to use a swim or rip. He’ll need to work on another move to counter NFL blockers who will anticipate his bull rush. It’s worth noting that since Lotulelei sat out a year, he’s already 23 years old.

Read the entire article at DMN.

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