OT Daniel Faalele, Minnesota

6’9” – 380 lbs.

Background:

Started the last eight of ten games played at right tackle as a freshman, then all eleven games he played in as a sophomore, missing the last two games due to injury. Opted out of the 2020 season, then returned in 2021 to start twelve of thirteen games at right tackle, finishing his career with 31 total starts.

Positives:

Three-year starter who’s as big as they come; would be the largest offensive lineman in the league. Played in an offense which featured zone blocking concepts and asked him to execute some athletically-challenging assignments. Much nimbler than anticipated, with good coordination/body control. Short-area quickness out of his stance is surprisingly good when executing blocks on angles. Has the ability to chip and engage or obstruct a second defender. Gets consistent extension with his arms to lock out defenders. Understands positioning and walls off effectively. Pretty good level of activity in his feet after contact. Able to wall off defenders with his sheer size alone; able to create lanes by gliding through the defense. Has some knee bend in his pass sets, with a wide base. Kickslide form looks solid as long as he doesn’t have to travel too far. Pretty accurate placement with his hands, with what looks like above-average grip strength. Basically impossible to bull-rush because of his stable base and excellent lower-body strength. Consistent on a snap-to-snap basis.

Negatives:

Listed in some places at 410 pounds, so teams may have concerns about his conditioning. Has more of a finesse playstyle than his size would suggest and doesn’t consistently maul in a phone booth; generally content to wall off. Relies on his mass at times, being more of an obstacle than someone engaging with technique; throws his body around to obstruct. Falls off of some blocks because of his lack of range in space. Some hunching/waist-bending, but not as much as usual for players with exceptional height. Can struggle to get enough depth in his kickslide to protect the edge from defenders rushing out of wide alignments. If he can’t make it at tackle, is probably too tall for a conversion inside to guard.

Summary:

Sort of a surprising prospect in the sense that while he has the type of natural lower-body strength his size would indicate, he plays the game with much better coordination, quickness, and technique than many big linemen, while not dominating in phone booths as much as expected. Looks like he could stick outside at tackle, potentially being even more comfortable in a zone-blocking scheme, and should come off the board in the second round or so if teams are comfortable with his conditioning, which looks good on tape.

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