University of Utah DL Fotu
Defensive lineman Leki Fotu has been an interior defensive lineman for the University of Utah. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 337 pounds, he has the strength and sheer body mass to be a formidable defensive tackle or nose tackle in the NFL. Still, he has surprising quickness and speed and could move out to defensive end after improving his arsenal of pass-rushing techniques.
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The vacancy caused by defensive end Michael Brocker’s free agency creates an opportunity for the LA Rams to go young and productive. Leki Fotu brings both. Another Hercules, Fotu has tremendous upper body strength which enables him to use his hands effectively to shed blockers. Unfortunately, he is too raw to generate a consistent pass rush. Fotu is Group 3, and will arrive at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, February 25.
Fotu has the potential to be coached up to play in a similar fashion to that of Aaron Donald. He can master either the one-gap or two-gap role with coaching. His pass-rush hinges upon his strength and overpowering blockers. For his size, he has an amazing burst out of his stance which can give him an early advantage which, once he gains it, he never gives up. He is an excellent tackler, using his powerful arm strength to pull down ball carriers even while he is engaged by blockers.
His footwork and balance need a lot of work. As such, he will need bench time before getting significant minutes on the defensive line at nose tackle. He will likely earn time in defensive line rotations but will need a year before commanding a starting role. He is another player the Rams will closely monitor throughout the Combine.