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King: Eagles Love Lotulelei

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King hears that the Eagles “like Star Lotulelei a lot to play all along the line, even at nose.” The connection certainly makes sense, as the Eagles need another defensive lineman in their new 3-4 scheme and recently brought the Utah product in for a visit.

File this report under the rumors section, because others are convinced that the Eagles will take West Virginia QB Geno Smith, Oregon OLB Dion Jordan, or Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher. In fact, the only likely selection at 4 who has not generated any buzz from the Eagles is Florida DE Sharrif Floyd, who I just mocked to Chip Kelly and company.

If the Eagles do indeed decide to take Lotulelei, they will get a dominant run stuffer. He eats up double teams and does not get pushed off the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t make a lot of tackles or disruptive plays, but frees up other defensive linemen and the linebackers behind him. He’s quick and powerful enough to become a decent pass rusher, but shows no real variety in rush moves. At this point, he’s a pure bull rusher who can collapse the pocket when he plays with proper leverage.

He’s a similar prospect to Michael Brockers, last year’s 14th overall pick. Brockers had a bit more length, but both are at their best against the run and will probably be better 2-gap defenders than penetrators in the NFL. Loutulelei is quicker and plays with better leverage, though, which makes him a sure-fire top 10 prospect in this class and probably in the top 5. He would form an excellent defensive end tandem with Fletcher Cox in Philadelphia.

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