Star Lotulelei   DT   Utah

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Star has remarkable athletic talent for a person his size.  He is quick and shows decent foot speed along with some good change of direction skills.  He's strong and, when he can anticipate the snap count, he is a beast to handle.  Star shows great lateral agility.  He has the ability to be an excellent nose tackle and control the line of scrimmage between the hash marks.  He knows how to use his hands and is able to hold his opponent up, shed his block and make a tackle.  Star can change the line of scrimmage and can disrupt just about any play he wants to in the backfield.  He has the athletic ability to split a double team and make a sack or a tackle for loss in the back field.  He also could play more than one position in a defensive front and has the athletic talent to play inside or outside in a 3-4 system.  Star is a disruptive force and a load to handle for any guard or center one-on-one.  

 

CONCERNS

Right now, Star lacks the stamina to play in the NFL.  This lack of stamina speaks to a possible work ethic issue.  Star plays impact football for the 1st quarter of just about every game I have seen him in and then he disappears in the 4th quarter. When he gets tired, he starts to play sloppy and make a lot of mistakes.  He doesn't understand how he is being blocked and struggles to understand and anticipate how offensive linemen are adjusting to his quickness.  He does not play smart and, at this point of his career, is more of a 1-gap defensive lineman who struggles playing in a 2-gap system. Star needs to mature on the field and improve his overall football intelligence and stamina.  Star is in for a shock as the NFL offensive linemen have talent equal to his and are way ahead of him mentally.   

 

BOTTOM LINE

I don't think there is any question about Star's talent and ability to play at the next level and become an impact player.  In my opinion, the big question marks are Star's work ethic, football intelligence, and overall understanding of how to play his position.  If you want to be a good nose tackle, you have to understand that making a few impact plays in a game does not mean you had an impactful game and helped your team win.  A nose tackle is going up against one of the smartest football players on the field in the other team's center.  You beat a center in the 1st quarter and then let that same center move you around like a rag doll in the 4th quarter?  That sends red flags up for me all over the place.  It shows a lack of stamina, mental toughness and football intelligence to change the way you play and meet that challenge.  Star can be a dominating player for the team that drafts him if he gets serious about playing his position and realizes that athletic talent will only take you so far.  I consider Star a "boom or bust" player with the type of talent and potential that will get him drafted early in this draft.  But, as we always say, it takes more than talent to play in the NFL.  Right now, Star has the talent, but I don't see the "more".

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Dec/2012