PROS: Has a quick first step and a very good motor. Is able to make plays in the backfield and at the point of attack. Shows ability to use his upfield quickness to get leverage vs. the run. Works laterally down the line and can make plays in pursuit. Is athletic and comfortable moving in space. Can rush with his hand off the ground. Shows a decent swim move, and developmental spin.
CONS: Will get pushed around and engulfed at times on the interior vs. the run. Is less effective as a pass rusher when he lines up inside because his burst is somewhat negated. Overly relies on his upfield quickness to beat blocker, and needs to add more pass rush moves and improve his hand use. Will struggle at times to get off blocks because of poor hand use.
OVERVIEW: He's a versatile, athletic playmaker that plays across Cal's line. His true position is as an end in their 3-man front, but will also play end and tackle in a 4-man front, and even line up with his hand off the ground and rush as a linebacker. He's got the motor, athleticism, and natural strength to be an impact player, but just needs a bit more polish. Production improved each year maxing out at 10 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks as a senior.
NFL FORECAST: Alualu is versatile enough that he's going to fit into any scheme you ask him to play in. I'm not sure he'll excel in every scheme. But he reminds me a lot of Chris Long, and at this point I think his best position on the next level is as an end in either a 3-4 or 4-3. I think his impact will be quicker in a 4-3. He'll never be a top pass rush coming off the edge, but a guy that can give you 3-5 sacks in a given year as a starter. His value in that scheme will be also because he can be a very good run stopper out on the edge. He's just a bit undersized and under-developed as a pass rusher to like his ability to impact on the interior right away. He might have to add more weight and get stronger to really excel there. But he can develop in any scheme, and I think with good coaching he's going to develop. He's the type of player that Bill Belichick would love to have because of his versatility. And I think any team that takes him ought to be open-minded about how they use him. I think if you want him to contribute right away as a rookie, you're best to play him in a 4-3 scheme at end on running downs and inside on passing downs. In time, as he develops better technique he can make a permanent move inside. I don't think he fits as well in a 3-4 unless it's a scheme that likes its ends to attack upfield, which is what he does best. And if he was to play in a 3-4, I don't see him becoming an impact starter, but serviceable.
ATL FORECAST: With his motor and potential to play across the line of scrimmage, there is little doubt in my mind that Alualu can come to the Falcons and immediately be as capable a starter as Jamaal Anderson is at left end. He's not going to be that much better a pass rusher than Anderson (maybe 2-4 sacks a year), but can probably do just as well vs. the run on the outside, and offer more quickness and burst as an interior pass rusher. His high motor and athleticism should earn him a key role in the Falcons rotation. He's good enough to think he can be developed as a starter down the road, but purely as a defensive tackle that is at least two or three years away. But if the Falcons played him as an end, he could probably earn significant reps right away.
VALUE: He's probably too raw at this point to make a first round pick, but his potential, motor, and versatility make him a solid second round pick that should go in the Top 50.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 3.5
PASS RUSH: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.