Name: Isaac Asiata
Position fit: Guard
Stats to know: Earned his highest run-block grade (91.0) of 2016 in Week 8 at UCLA.
What he does best:
- Powerful blocker when fully engaged with a defender, once he’s locked on he can really create good movement at the point of attack.
- At his best pulling from the backside on power and counter runs to the right; Asiata earned a positive grade on more than 30 percent of his pull blocks compared to 18 percent of his total run blocks.
- Comfortable in pass protection though he was rarely faced with a speed rusher this season to test his ability against more athletic and skillful rushers.
- Never idle in pass protection, when he doesn’t have a defender to block himself he is looking for another block to clean up and take that rusher out of the play.
- More than half of the 15 pressures (4 sacks, 2 hits, 9 hurries) he allowed came on either stunts, pulls or delayed rushes just a little late into position for his assignment at times.
- Prone to ducking his head which led to most of the rest of his pressures allowed but also showed up in the run game over extending into some blocks allowing defenders to work back against his block.
- Had some struggles at the second level, failing to close ground to the defender and lunging at the block which allowed smaller defenders he could physically dominate to side step him easily.
- When he’s on the backside of zone plays, Asiata struggled to get into position to cut his defender off and seal the backside of the play. Zone blocking in general is an area for improvement in general for Asiata earning positive grades on 17 percent of zone plays compared to 24 percent of gap scheme plays.
- Lacked consistency throughout the season, while games against Cal (83.7 overall) and UCLA (91.0 run block) were excellent performances against Southern Utah (53.5 overall), San Jose State (45.9 overall) and Indiana (54.2 overall) raise question marks over his ability to perform week in and week out.
Bottom line: Asiata is a powerful run-blocker and capable pass protector who thrives on situations where a defender stands to fight with him and turn it into a matchup where Asiata can overpower his defender. His excellent work as a pull-blocker makes him an ideal fit for a team that runs a lot of power and counter concepts, adept at both sealing and kicking out defenders on the move. Where Asiata must improve is winning the initial contact to control a defender. When a defender stands to fight Asiata he comes into his own but when a defender tries to play around Asiata or he has to close ground to the defender he is inconsistent at controlling the initial contest to bring his power into play on a more consistent basis.