2006 Draft Preview: OG Taitusi Lutui

USC OG Taitusi "Deuce" Lutui is roaring up several teams' draft boards and he's next up on Seahawks.NET columnist Scott Eklund's list of guards available in this year's draft. Expect his name to be thrown out during the late second or early third round as teams hope to obtain his big body and good athleticism.

4. Taitusi Lutui, OG USC 6-3, 330 (5.33)

NFL Comparison - Edwin Mulitalo, Baltimore Ravens

Overview –

Massive athlete that needs to lose some weight, but you can't discount his experience at the high D-1 level at a program run like an NFL franchise. Decent athlete with good size that started one year as a tackle and one at guard for the Trojans. A winner.

Run-blocking –

Excels as a drive-blocker, but has trouble in space and isn't nimble enough to get out on linebackers on a regular basis. Good footwork and ultra-strong, he has a solid base and good pad-level when drive blocking. Probably will never be very good at pulling, but he won't embarrass himself either.

Pass-blocking –

Has great potential as a pass-blocker. Possesses quick feet and can mirror rushers when he's properly set up. Can lunge at times and get caught off balance, but he gets into his sets quickly and, because of his experience in USC's pass-happy system, he is relatively polished in this area.

Roster impact on Seattle –

"Duece" probably isn't a great fit in Seattle. The Seahawks use a lot of pulls and traps in their run-blocking scheme, something that Lutui does not excel at, but should they take him he would be a backup for at least one year and probably two. Probably projects as a right guard in the west coast offense.

Final Analysis –

Good potential and would be a solid player on several teams' rosters. Would benefit from a year or two as a backup before contributing as a starter. Is garnering late third and early fourth round grades at this point, but some teams have him rated a lot higher than others. Fits the mold of the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills' linemen. Look for him to be taken at the end of the second or early in the third round.

Scott Eklund writes and reports for Seahawks.NET and Dawgman.com. Feel free to contact him at sctthawk@yahoo.com.

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