Photo of Stevie Tu'ikolovatu
Drafted By: Buccaneers
  • Round 7
  • Pick 5
  • Overall 223

Combine Results

Grade
5.5 ?
  • 5.45 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 28 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 24.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 91.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.83 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 5.00 SEC
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Tampa Bay finally addressed it's defensive line with big Stevie T. in the 7th round. He'll be a rotational gap-occupier in some of Mike Smith's subpackage groups. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'1" Height
  • 33" Arm Length
  • 331LBS. Weight
  • 10 1/4" Hands

Overview

Scouts consider Tu'iklolavatu (pronounced TOO-ee-koe-loe-VAH-too) of advanced age for a rookie, as the married man turns 26 years old in June. The Utah native began his college career as a redshirt at the University of Utah in 2009 before heading out for a two-year church mission in the Philippines. Tu'iklolavatu missed the 2013 season with a foot injury, and returned in 2014 in a reserve role (eight tackles in 12 games). Finally seeing more playing time in 2015, he tied for second in the FBS with four fumble recoveries, while making 28 tackles, six for loss, and two sacks from his interior position. Tu'iklolavatu decided that he would prefer to play at USC for his final collegiate season, and played well for Utah's Pac-12 South foe. He was a second-team all-conference pick after making 53 stops, two for loss. Tu'ikolovatu actually lived in his car near the USC campus last summer until he was cleared to receive housing benefits by the NCAA. His uncle, Sione Pouha, was an NFL defensive tackle for seven years with the Jets.

Analysis

Strengths

Possesses a jarring initial punch. Built low to the ground with ability to strike at upward angles. Gets his initial hand placement right and is able to win control at the point of attack. Not content to just eat space and lay on his block. Finds runners and looks to mirror to make plays. Looks to shuck quickly. Agile big man with ability to move down the line. Uses power to get late separation from blockers and make tackles against runners using his lane. Has experience eating double teams to keep his linebackers clean. Strong, wide base keeps him on his feet. Drain-clogger near the goal line.

Weaknesses

Portly frame with plenty of heft around the middle. Despite natural leverage, still allows centers under his pads when fatigued. Needs to stop allowing centers to hang around on blocks rather than overwhelming them. Should learn how to clean his frame and free himself by swatting blockers' hands away. Longer centers stifle his strengths. Can press pocket a little bit as rusher but not enough to matter in the pros. Likely limited to early down snaps only.

Draft Projection

Rounds 4-5

Sources Tell Us

"I would take 'Big Stevie' in the fifth or sixth round over some of the name guys in the same conference who will probably get drafted earlier." -- West Coast scout for NFC team

NFL Comparison

Brandon Williams

Bottom Line

Left Utah to earn more playing time at USC and it seemed to pay dividends. With a jarring punch that sets him up for success, he is able to get rid of blockers for quick wins and is a productive tackler once he's free.
-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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