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30-Days, 30 Prospects: DAY 8 – USC Trojans All-American Defensive Lineman Tuli Tuipulotu

Tuli Tuipulotu is an excellent, versatile defensive lineman who can line up at any position on the line to cause havoc. Listed at 290-lbs, Tuipulotu dominated offensive lineman at USC, earning 13.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss at the edge as well as the 3-technique. These stats earned him AP All-American and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. Tuipulotu entered the combine almost 25-lbs. lighter than what was listed at USC, and is making a pivot towards what seemingly looks like him, becoming primarily an egde rusher in the NFL.

Tuipulotu’s athleticism supports his transition to becoming primarily an edge, displaying impeccable athleticism and a motor that lasts with no relent, from first to last snap. His tremendous power, quick feet, and strong hands at the point of attack absolutely make up for his lack of length, adding a more than adequate bend to his tool set. Having the ability to stand up or put his hand down makes him a prime addition to a defense, making him a rare breed, as he is able to effectively line up in every defensive front.

Some of his weaknesses are that he is a bit of a “tweener”, not necessarily having the mass to play primarily at a 3-technique, or the length as a prototypical edge. As a result of his lack of length, he could have trouble with setting the edge and keeping contain assignment.

If the Raiders do select Tuipulotu at #38-overall, they will be getting a “Swiss-Army knife” on defense, having the versatility to play any Front-7 position in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, which is right down Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham’s alley. Additionally, such acquisition will bolster the edge rusher room, making the Raiders a force to be reckoned with at the position.

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