Hufanga is an exciting and high motor player who is always around the ball. He is smart and impactful around the LOS. He can be disruptive but also key in on developing plays quickly. Because of his short explosive movements, he excels quickly making plays down on the ball. Against the run, you see someone who doesn't lack any physicality or the willingness to use his pads. He can be aggressive and maneuver through the muck of the front seven and find the ball carrier well for being a DB. While in coverage, he excels with short area coverage and quickness and is ideal as a curl/flat defender.
Hufanga has a lot of interesting factors that make him really unique but to reach that point, he has to be healthy and available. And though he hasn't missed a lot of games in college, the level and severity of his injuries could question his longevity in the game (especially with his level of physicality). When on the field, Hufanga doesn't have the skillset to play as a single-high safety. He lacks the fluidity in coverage, doesn't look comfortable when asked to play in space. When tackling, he needs to work on connecting all parts of the process while wrapping up ball carriers.
Concussion '19, Broken Right Collarbone (2x), dislocated shoulder
vs. Oregon ('20), vs. WSU ('20), vs. UCLA ('20)
Talanoa Hufanga projects to a bit of a niche position in the NFL as a rover type hybrid safety. Working as a hybrid S/LB allows for him to do a bit of both positions and avoid playing on the back end of the defense while also working to make plays off ball or in coverage. He does have some serious injury concerns that will push him down draft boards but a health Talanoa Hufanga can add a needed playmaker to a lot of defenses. He projects as a late day 2 pick but can slide depending on how his medicals check out. He can provide a lot of depth at the next level at first while being an important contributor to special teams.
Hufanga has the required feet to play in the secondary. He has quick feet when backpedaling and breaking down and coming down hill but does falter at times with having to transition and open his hips up. Despite having good speed with his play, Hufanga doesn't have more than one speed with his game. He is naturally strong and is built already, which any teams strength coach will appreciate. He also shows no issues with maintaining balance when knocked off base or when making plays all over the field.
Big Play Ability