by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Cleveland.com.
The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we are here at Draft 412 in an effort to keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Ohio State Edge Rusher, J.T. Tuimoloau
Name- J.T. Tuimoloau
Team- Ohio State
HT/WT- 6’4” 270 lbs.
Home – Tacoma, WA
J.T. Tuimoloau was a five-star recruit out of Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, Washington. Tuimoloau also excelled at basketball and had a scholarship offer to play hoops at Oregon. He would eventually pick Ohio State over Washington, USC, and Oregon to play football.
Tuimoloau played in 11 games as a freshman for the Buckeyes and showed a glimpse of what he was capable of. He had 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks in a very limited role for Ohio State. As a sophomore, he played in 13 games and made some big plays for the Buckeyes defense, registering 3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble. He impressed scouts with his coverage skills and showed extreme athleticism for a 270-lb edge rusher.
Tuimoloau plays with exceptional balance and body control for a larger player. He has a strong upper body and violent hands he uses to shed would-be blockers. He has the build of the prototypical defensive end but is effective as a standup pass rusher and will bring flexibility to any defensive coordinator.
He has an excellently-timed spin move when pass rushing, making it even more difficult for an offensive tackle to contain him. With outstanding football IQ for a younger player, Tuimoloau does a fantastic job of getting his hands up to deflect passes, and always seems to be around the ball or quarterback. He’s athletic enough to drop back in zone coverage and has the hand to intercept the pass. When run defending, he has good burst and acceleration to track down running backs from the backside.
If there is a downside to his game, it’s that he sometimes plays stiff and lacks hip flexibility. His play is more of a straight line attack and he lacks the quick cuts and directional changes elite players at his position have. He will need to add some pass rushing moves to his overall game, with an emphasis on adding some inside moves to expand his game.
Athletic and agile for his size
Violent, strong hands
Good against the run
Plays too stiff at times
Needs some inside moves while rushing
Angles at times are off in pursuit
J.T. Tuimoloau is still improving and has a first round ceiling right now. His versatility may push him into some top 10 discussions.
Prediction- First Round Pick in 2024.