DT Jay Tufele, Southern California* (6’3”, 315)

Background:

Missed his senior season of high school with a torn ligament in his foot but was still considered a four- or five-star recruit, then redshirted his first season at USC. Was a major contributor in both seasons he played with the Trojans. Put up a line of 23-4.5-3.0 as a freshman, and saw his production expand the following season to 41-5.5-3.5. Opted out of the 2020 season, then declared for the draft.

Positives:

Comes with two seasons of solid production at a major program. Typically plays right defensive tackle for the Trojans, but will slide over to the other side as well. Has a very solidly-built frame with excellent bulk. Size translates into solid power on the field. Capable of holding his ground at the line of scrimmage and creating congestion in the middle of the line in the run game. Gets pretty good extension with his arms to lock out opponents and dig in. Shows some burst out of his stance and can be a handful with his bull rush. Also works in a pretty good swim move to work his way past blockers at times. Gives at least adequate effort in pursuit. Plays with the toughness and grit teams look for in interior defensive lineman and could potentially appeal to teams running both even and odd defensive fronts.

Negatives:

Movement skills are not very fluid; has issues with balance which frequently crop up on tape. Overall range is very limited; much more of a space clogger than someone who is regularly involved when the play goes horizontally. A little bit of a one-dimensional run-stuffer who doesn’t factor in very often in the passing game. Not as explosive as some of his peers currently projected in the same range. Even on plays when he’s able to use his swim effectively, lacks the burst to close and finish his rushes.

Summary:

A big, tough, strong interior lineman who can eat blocks as a two-gapping run stuffer, but whose range and athleticism are limited, likely relegating him to more of a reserve/rotational role at the next level. Would be best on a team that plays a two-gapping style of football.

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