Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Born: 12/20/1989, Tonga Years in College: 5
Tackles: 107 Sacks: 7 TFL: 21.5
Star is the most talked about Defensive Tackle in a very deep 2013 DT class. He has the natural strength and drive to dominate college offensive linemen. He often faced double and even triple teams while playing for Utah. He is already 23 years old and has been pushing around younger players for the past two years, but, he is a legit contender to be selected in the first three picks. Some draft boards have him going number one to KC.
Combine Results: After a physical right before the combine, doctors discovered Lotulelei has a heart condition and advised him not to participate in the combine. It was discovered he has abnormally low ejection fraction in his left ventricle, meaning it pumps out a lower percentage of blood than it should be. In normal adults, the left ventricle should pump out 55-70%, but Lotulelei’s only pumps out 40%.
Projected Team and Round: One of the reasons why the top three teams are drafting so highly is because they can’t shut down the middle of the field on defense. Before the heart condition results, I would have been shocked to see him fall past the Eagles at #4, but now it is unclear. Until doctors indicate the condition will allow him to have a normal NFL career, Lotulelei’s stock is up in the air. The condition could be a result of something as simple as a virus, but more tests will have to be conducted.
Closest To: Star reminds me of a quicker version of Haloti Ngata who was selected #12 overall by the Ravens in 2006. Some are mentioning Ndamakung Suh’s name, but, I just don’t see the same domination that I saw with Suh coming out of college. Close, but, not Suh-like.