Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Sione Fua NFL Draft Overview
03/26/2011 - Stanford Pro day: Stanford had ideal conditions for its pro day, with 22 teams on hand to watch 16 players participate on March 17. The workouts were completed outdoors on FieldTurf. DT Sione Fua measured 6-foot-1, and weighed 310 pounds. He had a vertical leap of 27-inches and broad jump of 8.7 while he stood on the rest of his numbers from the combine. He did participate in positional workouts. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
Full Sione Fua News WireOverview
There's a reason Stanford went from 55th in the nation against the run in 2009 to 19th in 2010, and although Fua can't take all the credit, he deserves a nose guard's share. After the team switched from a base "40" front to a true 3-4 his senior season, the onus was on Stanford's new two-gap plugger to occupy the middle and keep opponents from shoving the ball down the Cardinal's throat, and he responded.
The new system was a better fit for Fua. After he managed to earn honorable-mention All-Pac-10 as a junior (24 tackles, three for loss, 1.5 sacks), he showed the anchor strength to hold up against double-teams and fires out low enough to gain initial leverage and clog interior running lanes.
Fua was a second-team All-Pac-10 pick as a senior (22 tackles, six for loss, 4.5 sacks). He won't bring much pass-rushing prowess to his new team, but with many clubs installing at least a few "30" front looks, he has the squatty, thick build and excellent lower-body strength makes him worthy of a mid-round selection.
Strengths: Is a thick, stout player who uses his low center of gravity and squatty build to his advantage. Keeps his base down when uncoiling out of his stance and does not allow offensive linemen to leverage him. Extends his arms and generates a violent punch on contact, jarring blockers and quickly getting into position. Strong, powerful bull rusher who jolts the offensive lineman and gets leverage early. Has a low firing point and possesses the leg strength to drive blockers into the backfield. Sits into stance and anchors well against double-teams while maintaining the balance and body control to shed inside blocks. Can clog two gaps, keep his base under him and stay off the ground. Has experience playing the nose in a 3-4 front and the three-technique in a 4-3 front. Plays with a high motor and relentlessly fights to hold his ground.
Weaknesses: Lacks suddenness and is not the type of athlete who will knife through blocks to pressure the passer. Does not run well and struggles to work down the line to make plays away from his frame. Offers very little as a pursuit defender and cannot move quickly enough to track down a passer or runner from the backside. Can be run around and away from and lunges when trying to move laterally. Does not use his hands to beat blockers as a pass rusher and doesn't generate consistent penetration in the middle. Doesn't finish plays once he reaches the backfield and lacks the awareness to locate the football once he's through the line.