Is Daniel Faalele the largest prospect ever in NFL history?
Firstly, when you think of a mountain, which ones come to mind? For example, do you think of the Alps, the Himalayas, maybe even the Colorado Rockies? Each is equally impressive in its own right; however, imagine them combined in human form. That human form is Minnesota Gophers offensive tackle Daniel Faalele. The only remotely comparable prospect in NFL history was former Detroit Lion Aaron Gibson, who weighed 385 pounds at the 1999 NFL Combine. In terms of height, though, Gibson was only 6’6″, Faalele stands at 6’9″ and could roughly weigh near the same (if not more) when it comes time for the 2022 NFL Combine. Unlike Gibson, the current Minnesota Gopher seems to bring more to the table than size.
Some of Daniel Faaleleâ€™s tape is absolutely hysterical. Literally a playground bully. pic.twitter.com/Hs5etJl5zq
— Cory (@realcorykinnan) July 7, 2020
So aside from his size, what does he bring to the table as an offensive lineman?
Faalele’s strength is almost unfair
It’s over when Faalele gets his hands on the opposing defensive linemen.
Alabama's Evan Neal is OT1 to start the season.
My top senior OT? Minnesota's mountain RT Daniel Faalele (full rankings: https://t.co/oJwRHxc6no)
6-8, 379 pounds with 35" arms and 11 1/8" anvil hands. pic.twitter.com/GQ61UplRlS
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) August 14, 2021
No matter how talented, there is simply no defender that can drive Faalele off the point of attack in the run game. In addition to his sheer strength, the Australian native shows the athletic ability to reach the second level and make a terrifying impact.
Daniel Faalele is 6â€™8â€ and 400 pounds and can get to the second level without laboring pic.twitter.com/ggImrgPTU1
— Tyler Forness (@TheRealForno) May 2, 2020
It is equally challenging to avoid his impact area in pass protection, let alone go through him. Moreover, it begs the question, what exactly is his weakness?
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What are areas of improvement and what to expect from Faalele in 2021?
Ironically, the most significant area of concern for Faalele is his form after forgoing his junior season in 2020. However, he seems to be in fantastic shape before his senior season. For his size, usually, health is a concern, but as a freshman and sophomore, he only missed three total games. In other words, the only proper aspect of his game that has question marks is his consistency in pass protection. Indeed, he is a mauler in the run game. However, if he can display his athleticism and technique as a pass rusher, he could very well be the second offensive tackle taken in the 2022 NFL draft. In conclusion, expect him to put together an All-American type season while endorsing his bid to be a top 15 draft pick in 22’s draft.
*Top Photo: Minnesota Athletic Communications