PROS: A good athlete with nice strength for his size. Has experience working with his hand off the ground, and shows ability to move in space. Has a rudimentary spin move as a counter move. Has a decent first step, which helps him get leverage vs. the run and allow him to make the stop at the point of attack. Has a good motor. Works well on stunts and shows some ability as an interior pass rusher the few times he gets reps there.
CONS: Lacks the ideal burst and quickness to be a threat on the edge. Doesn't have the body control to turn the corner. Struggles to disengage from blockers and needs to develop more pass rush moves as he tends to rely on his edge speed. Needs to get off blocks better vs. the run in order to make stops at the point of attack. Also needs to do a better job breaking down in space, which limits his potential to play linebacker.
OVERVIEW: Tukuafu flashes the athleticism you like to see and has good strength. He is effective because of those physical skills and his motor, but is fairly unpolished as a lineman. He was productive while at Oregon, totalling 32.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in three years as a starter. A former JUCO transfer that will be a 25-year old rookie.
NFL FORECAST: He's got talent worth developing, and I think if he can get stronger and improve his technique could be a good run stopper on the next level. Not going to really impact as a pass rusher, alhtough he can provide some pressure off the edge. He reminds me a lot of Chauncey Davis, and I think can fill a similar niche on the next level. He probably should bulk up a bit more, getting into the 270-275 pound range to beef up vs. the run. He is going to take some development, but I think will be able to contribute in a rotation because of his high motor and toughness.
ATL FORECAST: Tukuafu could help the Falcons rotation, but at this point fills the same niche as Davis. He potentially could be better than Davis, but probably is at least a year or two away from making a significant contribution. And he's not going to be more effective pass rusher than either Sidbury or Biermann, so he'll be hard-pressed to make the roster. But he could work well spending a year on the practice squad and then pushing for time in 2011 or beyond. And if at that point he is ready to be a Chauncey Davis, could be a cheaper, option for the Falcon, although he's really not that much younger.
VALUE: For a team looking for a rotational end that has potential to develop as a run stopper, he would make a nice sixth round pickup.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.