Ed Ta'amu Analysis

What the experts are saying about Utah guard Ed Ta'amu, drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round.

A pure guard, who is blessed with tremendous physical strength, Ta'amu led the team with a bench press of 455 pounds and set a Utah record by squatting an amazing 625 pounds. He is a tough, hard-nosed guy who, like Nebraska's Toniu Fonoti, is known for his destructive "pancake" blocks, where he leaves a defender flat on his back. He played with a rugged, supremely intense mentality, which comes from his previous experience on the defensive line … When he gets his hands on the defensive tackle, he's really in control … Hard-nosed warrior who goes about his business with a sense of purpose and urgency. Fires out aggressively, but will over-extend at times, thus negating some of his strength.

Positives: A massive widebody who is a very, very powerful man and can be a dominating run blocker when he rolls his hips and comes off the ball low. Has very strong, heavy hands and punches with authority. Can shock a defender with his hand punch. Will flash athleticism and look like he can move his feet at times.

Negatives: Still is very much a work in progress as a pass protector. Will look lost and unathletic at times. Can look heavy-footed, clumsy and unathletic. Did not play well in the postseason all-star games. On the short side and will have to be a guard. Will struggle at times with judgment calls when blocking on the second level. Can be indecisive when he must determine who to hit when he is out in the open field and has to make snap decisions on his own. While learning should not be a problem for Ta'amu, his lack of focus and attention to detail has held him back and could prevent him from realizing his potential. Played better in October than he did later in the year and seemed to get heavier and less mobile.

Summary: Has raw talent but needs to refine his game and improve his pass-protection skills dramatically. Had a golden chance to step up in the Senior Bowl but didn't.

Negatives: Lacks great pure speed for a cornerback. Will struggle at times with man-on-man coverage when he is backed off. Does not always flip his hips and come out of his pedal as fluidly as scouts would like. At times will lose a step in transition. Will lose his footing at times, and any time a cornerback or deep safety gets off balance or falls down, a disaster could occur.

Summary: A good, tough, versatile football player.

THE GOOD: Powerful run blocking lineman best moving straight ahead. Big, plays with a nasty attitude and looks for someone to hit or works to destroy defenders. Stays square, keeps defenders in front of him and displays dominant strength in his lower body which enables him to drive opponents off the line of scrimmage. Anchors in pass protection, quick in his head picking up stunts or twists and looks to help out line-mates. Displays terrific arm punch and jolt at the point of attack.

THE BAD: Some quickness getting straight ahead to block on the second level but overall does not move well in space, lacks body adjustment and limited to confined quarters.

THE SKINNY: Could be very productive at the next level for a team that showcases a power running game as the focal point of their offense. Not be the prettiest but very effective at what he does. Late Fifth Round.

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