Brigham Young Senior
PROS: A physical lead blocker that likes to deliver hit and craves contact. Will lower shoulder and bowl over defender in the hole. Does a nice job hitting his assignments as a lead blocker. As a rusher, keeps his feet moving after contact and is powerful. Has a decent stiff arm and will fight for extra yards. Has nice hands as a receiver. Shows decent footwork for a player his size.
CONS: Not very elusive as a straight-line runner that lacks burst and cutting ability to change direction.
OVERVIEW: A powerful lead blocker that is a physical play that you want with you in a scrap. He was productive at BYU, but had a bit of off-field issues. Missed all of 2008 season due to being academically ineligible. Also was busted for a minor traffic violation in the summer of 2007, but was later arrested due to not paying the ticket. Finished career with 178 carries for 696 yards (3.9) and 16 rushing TDs. Also had 85 catches and 6 receiving TDs.
NFL FORECAST: The off-field issues would be less concerning with me if not for the fact that he was academically ineligible and also had a brother that plays football and also had some serious off-field issues. It's just one of those things where you can't give a glowing character grade of a guy off the field, when everything on the field tells you he's a player you want on your team. I think he can be a solid lead blocker for a team that likes the power running game. He's a good enough runner that he can be a factor in goalline and short-yardage situations. For a team that wants to be a physical power-run team then he should fit in very nicely as a lead blocker. His ability in the passing game is an asset that he can bring as an outlet receiver for a quarterback in the flat. The academics are a bit concerning. While you don't need to be a rocket scientist to be an NFL fullback, the smarter you are means the quicker you should transition to the pros and impact early. And I'm not confident Tonga will do that. But by his second or third season, he should be ready.
ATL FORECAST: Tonga would be a nice developmental guy behind Mughelli because he's a physical lead blocker that Mike Smith would love to clear holes for the Falcons running backs. He would likely have the time (two or more years) to develop in the Falcons offense. And while he can contribute in the passing game and short-yardage, he's not quite as versatile an option as Snelling. So he would only really make a lot of sense if the Falcons planned on keeping Snelling at running back full-time. But he should be a better lead blocker than Snelling.
VALUE: Tonga in terms of his ability is probably a fourth round talent, but his off-field issues probably knock him back to a fifth or sixth round pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average,4-very good, 5-elite
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.