Steve Fifita  DT  Utah

Strengths

Steve uses excellent leverage and has excellent strength in his upper and lower body.  He shows the ability to dominate in controlling the line of scrimmage in defending the run and demonstrates good quickness in rushing the passer.  Steve will be able to play in any defense. He has excellent strength to hold the point of attack when moving laterally.  Steve also shows very good mental toughness and leadership quailities. In short, no pun intended, he has first round talent.

 

Needs to Improve

Steve is vertically challenged.  Two or three more inches in height and everyone would be saying that Steve is the first DT off the board in this draft.  Just for the record, his lack of height does not bother me one bit.

 

Talent Board Round   3

You can talk all you want about the big DT’s from the big time programs and I will take this kid and the DT from Louisville before any of them.  Steve has excellent techniques and strength.  He just doesn’t allow the O-linemen to get into his body, which is the biggest key to handling your gap control assignment.  He shows very good quickness to be used in a 1-gap system and the strength as well as the correct technique to control the line of scrimmage in the 2-gap system.  Steve plays every down like a warrior.  He is relentless and is such a good technician that it is hard for me to believe as we get closer to the draft that anyone wouldn’t consider his talent as 1st round talent. Mike Patterson (USC) was taken in the first round last year and although Mike was quicker, he wasn’t as strong as Steve.  If you draft Steve, you should be able to use him right away in your D-line rotation and he will become a fan favorite and a core player.  Pass on the big boys from the bigger programs and do your team a favor:  pick Steve or Montavious and I guarantee your defense will improve right away and your linebackers will not leave in free agency.
by Drew Boylhart

THR

November 2005