Josiah Tauaefa

Position: Linebacker

College: UTSA

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 245 lbs

SCOUTING GRADE

Injury History: 2018: Hyperextended Left Hand, 2017: MCL Injury

Games Evaluated: 2018 Vs: Kansas State, Arizona State, Texas State

Scout: Roy Countryman

Scouting Report

Athleticism: 7.18

Q.A.B. / C.O.D.: 7.30

 

He has a solid build with good bulk and long arms to corral ball carriers. His speed is good, but it is his short area quickness, lateral agility, and closing speed that are apparent on tape. He can close on a play in an instant and with authority. Very good take on strength and can stack and shed OL to make plays on the ball, even going through RBs trying to block him in pass protection.

Flexibility: 7.10

 

Very good fluidity and seems to be able to slide past blockers when he is aggressively filling downhill. Very effective swim move that he unleashes with slipperiness on anyone trying to block him.

Explosiveness: 7.60

 

Has explosive closing speed and seems to have a second gear to grab when trying to bring ball carrier down. With his hair and build brings back memories of Troy Polamalu flying down kamikazee style on a ball carrier.

Playing Speed: 7.40

 

Is not a track athlete but out on the field he has range to get to plays wide of the formation and can eat up ground in a hurry.

Coordination: 6.60

 

Is balanced when he is attacking OL along the interior of the formation, but he can get a little frenetic, because he closes with such fervor that he sometimes can't react fast enough.

 

Position Versatility: 7.10

 

UTSA played a base 4-2-5, and he played MLB making all the calls, but he was often aligned in both 3-4 and 4-3 LB positions and anywhere from MLB or ILB, WLB, or SLB.

Pass Rush Ability: 6.55

Initial Quickness: 6.80

 

Has good first step quickness, but it is it timing up of the blitz that enhances that pressure and really gives him a striking advantage when he blitzes up the A gaps.

Rush with Leverage: 7.20

 

Uses his length and low ped level to anchor and uncork on OL and RBs trying to block him. Has the hand strength and ferocity to outlast those trying to block him.

Pass Rush Moves: 5.60

 

Was not used exclusively as a pass rusher, but when he was unleashed, he used impeccable timing with a deadly swim move that beat both IOL and RBs trying to stay in front of him.

 

Pressure Consistency: 6.60

 

When he was brought on a blitz, he was highly successful of either getting the sack or greatly disrupting the tempo of the play.

Coverage: 7.48

Pass Drops: 7.20

 

Very comfortable dropping off into coverage whether in zone or man, and has the fluidity to stick to his assignment without giving up much separation.

Coverage Awareness: 7.70

 

Outstanding instincts and processing skills allow him to fly around the field and be a terror to those trying to reel in the pass or the QB trying to deliver them.

M/M Coverage: 7.30

 

Able to flip and mirror RBs bleeding out of the backfield or he has the physicality to matchup with TEs down the seam which is a rare for an ILB.

Zone Coverage: 7.70

 

Due to his outstanding instincts and fluidity he is great as a zone coverage backer. He will get good depth in his drop and then will keenly watch the eyes of the QB to see where he wants to deliver the ball, and then close in the blink of the eye on the pass catcher.

Against The Run: 7.30

Play with Leverage: 7.20

 

Uses his length and low ped level to anchor and uncork on OL and RBs trying to block him. Has the hand strength and ferocity to outlast those trying to block him.

Stack and Shed: 7.20

 

Attacks blocks with fervor and strength. He would engage blocks with power, lockout and then disengage when the play flowed towards him.

Run at Him: 7.00

 

Willing to bang with OL that are down blocking and will hold the POA to allow the pursuit to fill rushing lanes behind him.

Runs Away: 8.10

 

Excellent off the ball LB who will fly downhill in pursuit on the backside. He simply will outrun cutback lanes and bring down the ball carrier where they are at.

Tackling/Hitting: 7.00

 

Very good heads up tackler who brings sounds mechanics and hit strength. He will snap hips on contact and bring ball carriers down, but he also has a bad habit of either taking bad pursuit angles because he processes and closes or he dives at the lower legs of players trying to bring them down.

Competitiveness: 7.57

Toughness: 7.30

 

Willing to pop pads with OL inside and hold the POA so that his teammates can make plays on the ball. Will fight off bumps and bruises to play every snap possible, simply does not take any off.

Production: 7.20

 

Had two standout seasons that were separated by an injury marred one. In his two healthy and productive seasons he procured over 100 tackles, 8 TFL, and 4 Sacks. Was named to multiple Freshman first teams and player of the year awards for his efforts in 2016.

Consistency/Motor: 8.20

 

Not a question with this player. He is the epitome of hot running motor, and his teammates were in awe of his consistent energy and presence throughout a game and the season.

 

Intelligence: 7.87

Instincts: 8.60

 

Outstanding instincts, and it shows by how many highlight reel plays he was able to make by recognizing the play then closing.

Learn/Retain: 7.20

 

Was the quarterback of the defense on UTSA, was tasked with aligning and making sure they were in a good place to succeed pre-snap. With his ability to be able to play multiple positions it shows his preparation.

Concentration: 7.80

 

Has laser focus, and his sole mission is to stop the offense at all costs. Willing to fly around and throw his body around so that he can impede their progress.

STRENGTHS:

Tauaefa looks like a tasmanian devil out on the gridiron the way he flies around the field laying big time hits and closing on plays he has no business in even being close to. He has strong hands and good length to be able to take on blocks at the POA, and will shed to be able to bring down ball carriers. He has the lateral agility and short area quickness to range from sideline-to-sideline, and the hip fluidity to be able to seamlessly transition and cover RBs bleeding out of the backfield or the physicality to body up TEs down the seam. He hits with great power and can separate ball from ball carrier. As a blitzer he utilizes impeccable timing to knife into the backfield to disrupt the play.

WEAKNESSES:

He only has good timed speed, but it is his closing quickness and agility that allow him to get to plays. His diagnostic skills are outstanding but as he recognizes and attacks he at times takes poor pursuit angles which leads to him either running himself right out of the play or having to dive at the feet of the player to try and bring him down. Level of competition has to be taken into account by playing in Conference USA, but he still put up big number when healthy.

BIG PICTURE: 

Josiah Tauaefa is a terrorizing force as an ILB. He has all the traits to be able to put up huge tackling numbers at the next level, and if not for a knee injury that disrupted his time at UTSA, I believe he would have been in the late round 1/early round 2 discussion. I could still see him coming off the board in Round 3, but more than likely early day three in the 4th-5th Round range. His playing style reminds me of a poor man's Troy Polamalu in the way he can aggressively fill in an instant and make plays with impeccable timing.

 

Projected Round: 4-5

Team Fits: Steelers, 49ers, Seahawks, Bengals, Eagles, Patriots, Rams

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