The NFL draft is just days away, and by this point each player has been analyzed, scrutinized, and romanticized by every NFL guru from Kalamazoo to Calcutta. We here at pigskinpress.com turn once again to our director of scouting Nathan Cooper to help us look deeper into the draft at some guys from the group of five that may be a real steal on draft day!
Position: Defensive Tackle
Hometown: Far Rockaway, NY
Games Scouted: 2017 #7 Tulsa, #8 Missouri, #9 USF (Live), #11 Boston College 2017 Stats: 12 GP, 45 Tackles (30 Solo), 7.5 TFL, 4 Sacks Career Stats: 48 GP, 170 Tackles (104 Solo), 21 TFL, 14 Sacks, 4 FF, 1 Block All-Star Game: East-West Shrine Game
2015 Honorable Mention All-AAC (Coaches)
Major in Communication Sciences
2-Star Composite in 2013 (247Sports)
Character – A
2015 – Suspended for first half against Army due to being ejected for fighting in the previous game
Medical – B
Limited to just two games his Junior year of high school due to an undisclosed injury
2017 – Injured left knee against Memphis
2017 – Injured right knee against Tulsa
2017 – Injured left shoulder against Missouri
2017 – Suffered cramps in both hamstrings against USF
Plays with a high motor
Slow 1st step on most plays
Doesn’t show great hand use
Doesn’t have great lateral quickness
Summary: Fatukasi projects as a 3-technique at the next level and fits best into a 4-3 scheme. He shows versatility to move in to nose or out to 5-tech depending on the situation and could fit in as a 3-4 DE. At UConn, he primarily played nose tackle, but shifted out to 3-tech on occasion. He plays with good athletic ability, but isn’t a great reactive athlete. He also needs to get into better shape. He comes off of the field too often, whether it be because he is tired or due to a minor injury. He competes and shows good toughness from down-to-down. He is more of a pass rusher than a run stopper. Against the run, he seems to show flashes where he can use good leverage and shed ability to make a play, but it’s inconsistent. He doesn’t show great awareness or FBI and many times the ball carrier runs right by without him knowing it. He is slow off the ball and rarely is able to get hands on to dictate the control of the block. Many times he tries to put a shoulder into the blocker and stands up too tall which allows him to get washed too often. His lack of lateral quickness makes it tough for him to make plays down the LOS. He plays with a high motor and good power, but needs to improve his hand quickness and placement to become more consistent. Some of why he doesn’t do as well against the run is because he is a pass rusher first. He looks to get into the backfield on each and every play and get to the quarterback. He shows good pass rush ability, but has a lack of pass rush moves. He mainly tries to bull rush and overpower the blocker to get into the backfield. At times, he does show good leverage and shed ability with a pull move, but needs to work on ripping through to become more consistent. He should be able to come in right away and contribute as a rotational 3-tech and bounce in to nose or out to 5-tech on 3rd down in pass rush situations. Adding in some technique work and a few pass rush moves will allow Fatukasi to become a solid, versatile backup/rotational defensive lineman in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Clinton McDonald, Buccaneers Fatukasi and McDonald primarily played nose tackle in college, but as McDonald moved to 3-tech in the NFL, Fatukasi should do the same. They are undersized at nose, but show good get off and leverage at 3-tech. They struggled to take on double teams and show consistent hand use.
Grade: 6.2 (Late 3rd Round)
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