Photo of Pita Taumoepenu
Drafted By: 49ers

Combine Results

Grade
5.0 ?
  • 4.67 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 24 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 28.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 112.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.91 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.33 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

John Lynch is well-schooled in the benefits of building a bully on defense. Taumoepenu is a depth addition, but he adds another piece to their pass rush packages and at worst should land a special teams role early. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'1" Height
  • 32 3/8" Arm Length
  • 243LBS. Weight
  • 9 7/8" Hands

Overview

Pita Taumoepenu (peet-tuh tao-mo-eh-pen-new) was born in Texas, his family moved to Tonga when he was three (where he learned to play rugby), and eventually made his way to Provo, Utah to be an all-state pick with 25 sacks as a senior. The NCAA had some issues with the splitting of his high school career between two countries, but he wound up playing in seven games as a freshman in 2013, making six tackles, two for loss, and a sack on defense and special teams. Taumoepenu flourished as a pass-rush specialist for the next three years, starting with a 17-tackle, 5.5-sack effort as a sophomore. He had just nine tackles in 13 games as a junior, but six of them were quarterback takedowns. Earning four starts in 11 games in 2016, Taumoepenu had 34 tackles, nine for loss, and seven sacks (including three against Arizona State).

Analysis

Strengths

Quick-twitch athlete with light, bouncing feet. Able to stick his foot in the ground and redirect quickly to mirror change of direction from running backs and quarterbacks. Always looks to crash down inside and catch ball-carrier before he hits the hole. Plays with terrific urgency and a motor that is always humming. Relentless in his pursuit with a good closing burst to the ball no matter where he is on the field. Good explosiveness out of his stance and into his rush. If he times-up snap, can race up the field and beat a tackle around the edge. Uses a well-timed inside counter when he senses his opponent has set far enough up the field. Second-effort sack man. Has attributes to potentially shine on special teams.

Weaknesses

Undersized for the edge. Lacks upper body power and overall play strength to set a strong edge and will get caught inside losing contain responsibilities at time. When tackles clamp into his frame, he is unlikely to unhinge in a timely fashion. Has no chance of channeling speed-to-power as a pass rusher. Pass rush plan is lacking. Face-up rushing style will require cleaner hand usage to create some openings. Ducks head into contact as a tackler and allows too many broken tackles. Carries very little thud behind his pads as a tackler and is forced into wrap and drag finishing. Has just seven career starts.

Draft Projection

Round 7-PFA

Bottom Line

Pass rush specialist with limited exposure to the game who has posted consistent sack and pressure production throughout his career thanks to his athleticism and motor. He's undersized and lacks the strength to factor in as an every-down 3-4 OLB option, but he does have a chance to become a backup rush linebacker and might even warrant consideration as a 4-3 WILL who can step into a special teams role quickly.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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