Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: USC, Texas, Oregon 2018 Vs: BYU
Report By: Peter Vandeventer
Q.A.B. / C.O.D.: 7.00
Playing Speed: 6.90
Quick off the snap and with his feet. Good change of direction for a 330-pound lineman. Late in plays, Fotu has issues with losing his leg drive and it causes him to be off his base while relying too much on his upper body to work. This leads to issues stalling and not having successful pass rush counters. In terms of flexibility, Fotu can get a little too tall and doesn't show as much bend or ability to sink down into his stance. Fotu is also very explosive with his hands and creates it with his strong legs. His very good explosiveness is one of his most prominent traits.
PASS RUSH ABILITY: 6.74
Initial Quickness: 7.20
Use of Hands: 6.50
Pass Rush Moves: 6.50
Finish Ability: 7.10
Fotu has a great first step and can create separation and penetration. Hands can get a little sloppy at times and isn't consistent with hand placement. Could be coached into him which will allow him to use his strong hands on a more consistent basis. Leverage is a question mark for Fotu. In the run game, he can create leverage more consistently and keep his pads low. But when he rushes the passer, he tends to stand straight up after his first attempt which hinders his ability to create consistent pressure. Fotu has the tools to use a number of moves (rip, hump, swim, and push-pull) but doesn’t mix his approach often enough and usually sticks to his bill rush, even when it isn't winning many battles for him. But with all that, Fotu is still a great finisher and reads the QB well while finding the best angle to the QB.
Constantly taking on double (and the occasional triple) teams, Fotu shows great toughness and a will to fight. He doesn't give up on many plays which are shown with his motor. But late in drives and during the 4th quarter, you can see that he is getting tired. Should benefit from being a rotational player which will allow him to concentrate more of his energy over fewer plays.
AGAINST THE RUN: 7.30
Play with Leverage: 7.30
Stack and Shed: 7.10
Gap Shooting Ability: 7.60
Run at Him: 6.80
Run Away: 7.50
Against the run, Fotu is way better at suited to take on double teams and eat space. He launches into lineman out of his stance which can create leverage while getting under their pads. Due to his very good play strength, Fotu does a very good job at stacking and shedding while still engaged with blocks. He could seek improvement by finishing off the block better and disengaging more clean but he showed a very good ability to time up his shed while the ball carrier is in his proximity. With that said, Fotu does have some issues with runs at him. Instead of filling and clogging lanes, Fotu showed a tendency to get too far upfield which resulted in him being washed out and taken out of plays. He got a little too aggressive and didn’t read the run as well as he could which prevented him from forcing runs back inside. With runs to the outside, Fotu exhibits good lateral quickness and movement while trailing plays as well as very good gap penetration which led to him disrupting plays and preventing cut back lanes.
Fotu is instinctual and trusts how he reads plays. But that could get him into some tough situations where he overpursues and evacuates his rush lane. He has a team-first mentality and grew as a quiet leader for the Ute defense through part of his Junior and Senior season.
Fotu is a stout run defender who can make plays while double-teamed or chasing down ball carriers. Utilizing his quickness off the snap, Fotu can penetrate backfield while attacking inside shoulder of lineman to stress a moving pocket. But he also can work as an anchor along the DL with a massive frame and lower body that can take on and eat double teams on a consistent basis. Much more comfortable against the run where he can clog lanes and beat blockers to the outside.
Though Fotu shows flashes in the passing game, he is still off in terms of reliability. Doesn't mix his approach often enough to catch lineman off guard and after getting beat on his initial move will require him to counter. Later on in plays, Fotu just doesn’t look to have the ability to create after the play breaks down. Can lose his leg drive which makes him rely too heavily on his upper body which elevates his pad level, leading to a loss in leverage. Needs to work on conditioning and pass rush approach in order to be on the field in passing situations as well as more of a consistent basis later on in games/drives.
Fotu projects as one of the better nose tackles in the draft with his anchoring ability that is coupled with his quickness. Could play in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense but should be used more in early down situations or goalline to limit his pass-rushing flaws. Needs to spend time developing his pass rush and hands but can be impactful on any squad that he joins. Fotu is a late day-2 pick and could fall to the 4th.