Scouting Report Deep Dive on Utah DL Leki Fotu

All of the relevant info for NFL Draft prospect and Arizona Cardinals fourth-round selection Leki Fotu.
Publish date:

The Cardinals selected Utah defensive lineman Leki Fotu with their first choice in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. The following is the scouting report from




NFL Combine Performance Data

ARMS: 34 ¼

HANDS: 10 5/8

40-Yard Dash: 5.15

Bench Press: 21 reps

Player Bio

Leki Fotu (pronounced leck-ee foe-too) played rugby, not football, growing up and was good enough to play for the U.S. national team and train with a team in London. He only played one season of football at Herriman High School and was a first-team All-Utah selection for his efforts. Fotu played five games as a reserve as a true freshman (one tackle) as he learned the game. He contributed more regularly in 2017, starting two of 13 games played (22 tackles, 3.5 for loss). Everything clicked for Fotu as a junior, garnering first-team All-Pac-12 honors with 33 tackles, 5.5 for loss, and three sacks in 14 games (13 starts). Fotu not only repeated that first-team notice but also earned third-team Associated Press All-American recognition in his senior campaign (29 tackles, nine for loss, 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups in 13 starts). Received medical flag at Senior Bowl. Two of Leki's brothers played college football (Joe-Illinois, Anthony-Arizona).

Analysis by Lance Zierlein

NFL Comparison: Mike Pennel


Fotu was put into position to try to make plays in the Utah scheme, but with his massive frame and natural strength, he's much more likely to be groomed as a two-gapping, odd-front nose. His athletic ability is fairly impressive for his size, but his impact in the biggest games felt a little overstated after studying tape. He needs to play with better bend and more consistent anchor to squeeze the interior and fulfill his potential as a run-plugger. His draft value could be capped because he's an early down player who offers no real rush value.


· Mammoth frame but carries weight very well

· Girthy lower half with thick arms

· Good practice effort and game motor

· Single blocks won't get much movement against him

· Initial lick carries jarring pop to blocker upright

· Hands strike inside framework and gain early arm extension

· Plus athleticism and range down the line as a big man

· Recognition and hustle to challenge zone blockers' play-side edge

· Has played in slanting front but built to two-gap

· Mass and power to drive through an edge and into backfield


· Lethargic out of his stance and into neutral zone

· Not enough upfield quickness to create disruptions in the gaps

· Plays with relatively narrow base for his size

· Inconsistent at planting his roots against double teams

· Pad level pops up tall when he's working slants

· Not much threat as a rusher

· Doesn't have sudden feet to gain enough winning advantages in pass rush

· Must become more of a pocket-denter than block-rider as a bull-rusher