Fili Moala, DT, Southern California

Scouting Reports of defensive tackles in the 2009 NFL Draft
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Fili Moala, DT, Southern California

Postby Pudge » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:46 pm

Fili Moala
6-4/305 USC
5.16 Senior

Pros: He has a good first step and does a nice job getting penetration with his quickness. Hard to block one on one. Shows good strength, improved motor, and a nice swim move. Can make stops in the backfield and pursuit. Shows some potential as a bull rusher because of his solid first step.

Cons: Seems to give minimal effort vs. the run. Neutralized when double teamed and has a hard time getting off blocks. At times, will be overwhelmed at the point of attack. Is too intent at times to get upfield, taking himself out of run plays. Lacks pass rush moves. If he doesn't beat you off the initial first step, he's not really going to beat you.

Overview: He plays a variety of positions for USC, including 1, 3, and 5-techniques. But he's best in the 3, followed by the 5. Basically he's a pure pass rusher. He was highly rated going into the season as the top senior tackle, but he benefitted greatly from playing beside Sedrick Ellis a year ago and never really showed any improvement from last year to this year. Is cousins with Haloti Ngata. He was arrested in March 2008 for resisting arrest following a fight, although later charges were dropped and he was said to not be involved in the fight.

NFL Forecast: Moala could work in either a 3-4 scheme at end or a 4-3 as an under tackle. He's a good pass rusher, but overly relies on his
quickness to beat the blocker. And I think he's going to hit a wall once he gets to the pros as he needs to develop more pass rush moves. I'm not sure he can be an every down player, at least not initially. He could get to a point where he's good enough vs. the run that he's an adequate starter. But given how little he's progressed as a run stopper in college, I'm not sure he'll ever be that good. He's a guy that I think can definitely help a rotation, and be a factor on passing downs, but seems to one- dimensional to be relied upon as a starter.

ATL Forecast: Moala would come to Atlanta and arguably have the best pass rush potential on the team at tackle. But he's not as polished a pass rusher. He could definitely help the team on passing downs coming from the inside, since he'd be a better option than either Davis or Anderson. But beyond that, I'm not sure he'd develop as well as hoped. He'd definitely help the Falcons rotation, but I don't think he would develop into a starter.

Value: For a 4-3 team that values pass rushing skills highly, then he'd be worth a late third round pick. Otherwise, I'd wait until the fourth.
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