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Jimmy O’Brien: Lotulelei could have declared for the 2012 draft, and would likely have battled Dontari Poe to be the first nose tackle selected. Unlike Poe, who possesses rare movement skills for a player of his size, with the flexibility to play anywhere in the defensive front, Lotulelei is more a classic 3-4 space eating nose tackle, with the strength to anchor at the point of attack, and the power to absorb doubleteams. Make no mistake, Lotulelei also displays impressive short area burst and quickness, with the capability to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage, but he’s more a true blocker-eater inside, employing sound leverage and a strong lower core to keep defenders clean behind him. Limited pass rush ability (no speed rush), and he struggles to tackle outside his frame. Versatile enough to play one technique in a 4-3 undershifted front, but most natural fit is as a two gap zero technique, or nose shade, in position where he can control the flow of traffic around the ball. Will be attractive to NFL teams running multiple or hybrid schemes, and should push to be a top 10 pick come April.
Measurables coming soon!