Teams looking to beef up their defensive line will have plenty of options at tackle to choose from in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, including Jay Tufele. Here's a look at what teams like and have some concerns about when it comes to taking a chance on the USC product.
(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2021 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Click here to get your copy.)
Jay Tufele Draft Profile
An opt-out last season, Tufele flashed dominance as a sophomore and has the traits for the next level — a tremendous blend of size, explosive strength and quickness for an interior player. He’s primarily a one-gap penetrator, with the get-off and quick, violent hands to beat blockers early in the down. He shows the ability to bull-rush as well, with the lower-body strength to dominate when his pad level is right.
While he was dominant at times, he never quite put it all together at the collegiate level. Tufele relies heavily on a swim move and will have to diversify his pass-rush repertoire to win at the NFL level. Against the run, he’s much more comfortable playing one gap than two, as he often ends up playing too high and giving up ground at the point of attack.
A one-gapping interior lineman who can play 3-technique or nose shade, Tufele has the raw tools teams look for. He might need a year to develop and find more consistency, but he should make an early impact as a pass rusher who’s difficult to handle in one-on-one situations.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round
(Top photo courtesy of usctrojans.com)