New York Jets 2013 NFL Draft Profile: DT Star Lotulelei


Feb 25, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Utah Utes defensive lineman Star Lotulelei who has a heart medical condition misses the workouts and watches from the sidelines during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The opening of the free agent period has been interesting for the New York Jets so far. Interesting because you could certainly classify it as positive, even though they haven’t really done anything yet. Players are leaving the Jets left and right, but yet, it has been a positive opening. Why?

Because John Idzik has a plan. He is not spending on players just for the sake of doing it. He is doing his “due diligence” in evaluating who to bring in here. So, I am not going to get on John’s case for not making any moves yet. But, what is interesting is seeing the defensive linemen go. First Po’uha, now DeVito. What it makes you wonder is, are the Jets going to focus on an interior defensive lineman early in the draft, instead of an edge rusher? It seems logical based on the guys that have defected, so I decided to take a look at one of those highly touted lineman for today’s profile. So, we look at Star Lotulelei from Utah.

He measures in at 6’2″, 311 pounds.

He wasn’t able to perform at the NFL Combine, due to a discovered heart condition while in Indianapolis. Obviously, we don’t have a 40 yard performance at the combine, but per NFL Draft Scout, he runs anywhere from a high four to a low five second 40 yard dash, which is plenty fast enough for a defensive lineman.

While at Utah, he won the Pac 12 Morris Trophy, which honors the conference’s top defensive lineman as a Junior while posting 44 tackles, 9.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks.  Instead of leaving school early, he remained for his senior year, and posted 42 tackles, 11 for loss, 5 sacks.

Take a look at some video, first mainly against USC:

And now, some footage from a game against BYU:

PROS: The first thing that jumps out at me is the way Star can explode off of the football.  There is an excellent example in the tape against USC where he comes off the ball, rides the center back into next week, and then falls on the loose football.  He had total control over the situation, and his physical strength took over.  I really like his swim move that he can put on a defensive lineman.  His hand strength will allow him to compete with any lineman in the league.  He’s a fierce tackler, which I love.

CONS: Any time a guy that young has a heart condition, a red flag has to go up.  How will this young man hold up over a sixteen week season, possibly several?  You have to wonder.  The last thing we would want is a guy to drop on the football field.  Now, back to on the field stuff, the only thing that worried me was once in a while, you would see Star get ridden off of a play by a lineman.  He gets too engaged, at times, with the lineman, and loses focus on the ball.

This guy has the potential to be special.  Could the Jets be heading this way, based on the moves of the last few days?  It’s possible.  If so, works for me.