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PFF scouting report: Josh Tupou, DI, Colorado

BOULDER, CO - MARCH 8: Former University of Colorado defensive tackle Josh Tupou runs a 40-yard dash for NFL football scouts at the indoor practice field on the University of Colorado campus on March 8, 2017 in Boulder, Colorado. The Pro Timing day was held for draft eligible players. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Name: Josh Tupou

School: Colorado

Position fit: Nose tackle

Stats to know: 6.1 run-stop percentage ties him at No. 53 in the draft class.

What he does best:

  • Plays a traditional nose tackle position over the center in a 3-man front. Played 0-technique nose on 524 of 594 snaps in 2016.
  • Disruptive in the run game and very good at altering running lanes.
  • 21 run stops on 342 run defense snaps in 2016.
  • Makes the players around him better by occupying blockers.
  • Strength to two-gap a center and shed him either way and make a tackle.
  • Finds the ball well with his eyes after he is engaged with the center in the run game.
  • Clogs up the line of scrimmage with his 353-pound frame.
  • Quick feet for a big man and is athletic enough to play rugby.
  • Can collapse the bottom of the pocket with a strong bull-rush.

Biggest concern:

  • Limited as an early-down run defender.
  • Suspended from the football program for one season for violating team rules.
  • Lack of pass-rush production over his career.
  • Doesn’t have a wide array of pass-rush moves.
  • Keeping his weight under control could be an issue.

Player comparison: Jamaal Williams

Williams had a similar build and playing style as Tupou as both players are wide-bodied nose tackles who excelled against the run but aren’t consistent pass-rush threats.

Bottom line: Tupou is a run-down nose tackle who has an NFL skillset but would have been better suited to playing in a different era of football. The lack of demand of nose tackles in the NFL makes Tupou’s size and athleticism more valuable at guard in today’s game. The value of run-stuffing big-bodied defensive tackles isn’t as high as it has been historically as the focus of NFL defenses is becoming more and more about impacting their opponents passing game. Tupou doesn’t possess the pass-rush ability to be a true three-down defensive tackle in the NFL. However, Tupou does provide run-defense ability and will find himself in an NFL training camp this summer with an opportunity to try and carve out a specialized role as a run-stopper.

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