6’2″ – 315 lbs. – 5.30e
Started nine of thirteen games played at defensive tackle as a freshman, then spent started nine games at left tackle the following season while also recording twenty-six tackles on defense. Started twelve games at right tackle the following year, then transitioned back to defensive tackle. Has pro bloodlines; brother is Panthers defensive lineman Star Lotulelei. Very thickly-built nose tackle who typically plays the one-technique in his team’s defense, but will also line up over the center as a zero-technique at times. A prototypical two-gap space-eater. Anchor is strong enough to hold the point, even against the occasional double team. Has powerful hands to shed blockers in the run game, although his tackling radius is limited by his lack of length. Can control blockers and create congestion in the middle of the line, but overall range and willingness to pursue plays to the outside are marginal. Will get preoccupied with taking on blockers and lose track of the ball. Could play with more consistent leverage and keep his feet moving on a consistent basis; will occasionally come out high, let his feet go dead on contact, and rely on his natural power. Projects as more of a rotational player but flashes the ability to explode out of his stance and drive smaller linemen back like blocking sleds to collapse the pocket and generate pressures in the passing game. Relatively athletic in his initial move downhill but athleticism dramatically drops off with distance. Hands are quick enough to mitigate some of his length deficiency and works a surprisingly effective swim move into his game at times, although he projects as predominantly a bull-rusher. Doesn’t really have developed counters he can fall back on if his initial move is unsuccessful. Past experience as an offensive tackle is more of a curiosity than a viable backup plan for his career given his lack of height and length; would have to move inside to offensive guard in a best-case scenario. A fairly straightforward projection as a powerful, thickly-built nose tackle who can two-gap and anchor against the run, but who is probably going to be more of a two-down rotational player who comes off the field on passing downs despite some initial burst and a surprisingly effective swim move. Draft stock will depend on how highly teams value that type of skillset.