The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Jay Tufele 2021 NFL Draft profile.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Size: 6-foot-3, 305 pounds
Class: Redshirt Junior
2019 stats: 41 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 pass defended
After the Pac-12 initially decided to suspend their fall football season, Tufele started talking about his future. He has decided to forgo his remaining eligibility and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
He was a highly-recruited player out of high school and Tufele chose to leave Utah to go to USC. Tufele redshirted his first year on campus, but got playing time shortly after. As a redshirt freshman, Tufele had 23 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception. USC went 5-7 and missed the bowl game that season. He improved in 2019 with 41 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. The Trojans improved to win eight games, but lost to Iowa in the Holiday bowl to end the year.
While Tufele only had one full season as a starting defensive lineman, he decided to take his chances in the pros. He is currently projected to be drafted before the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft is over.
Tufele has great burst at the snap of the ball. He is usually one of the first players to jump after the ball is snapped. His ability to get a good jump at the start of the play puts offensive linemen off balance and helps him attack gaps well.
His movement is great for a player his size. This starts at the snap of the ball, but continues throughout the play. He is quick and agile and is able to be disruptive because of that. Tufele is able to get around blocks and he is also able to chase down the quarterback or ball carriers that other players his size can’t.
He has a great motor, which likely is a result from his rugby days. Tufele plays hard every snap and doesn’t get too winded. He can be seen trying to run down ball carriers or push the pocket with maximum effort. One thing NFL coaches won’t have to work with him on is his effort.
Tufele may be a two-down player in the NFL. At USC, they pulled him on third downs some of the time in order to get their best pass rushers on the field. If he couldn’t see the field on passing downs in college, it will be even harder for him to see the field when he is in the NFL. He needs to add more pass-rushing moves to his arsenal to be a more complete player. Tufele is great at pushing the pocket and creating chaos by attacking gaps, but for him to put up some productive numbers, he needs to add moves to beat his man more regularly.
His production was relatively mild compared to other players in the draft class. He had just 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks last season. If Tufele produced more, he would be a more obvious choice to be selected early. It is hard to believe
He needs to work on his pad level to be more consistent as a player. There are plenty of times where he stands too straight up and loses leverage. When he stands up he loses power, but he has decent power when he stays low.
Projected Draft Range: Second Round Pick-Fourth Round Pick
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