The Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive line is stacked with players that will take part in an intense training camp battle. Among them is undrafted free agent rookie Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa from Notre Dame. Possessing versatility and upside, Tagovailoa should be one of this year’s undrafted prospects that makes the roster.
What does Tagovailoa-Amosa bring to the Las Vegas Raiders?
The six-foot-two, 260-pound Hawaii native is smaller than most of the defensive linemen the Raiders currently have. However, what he lacks with his current size is eclipsed by his high motor and impressive upper body strength. In fact, he plays with such reckless abandon that you can’t help but notice his relentless pursuit. Tagovailoa plays every snap like it’s his last, and simply put, he doesn’t stop.
He posted 12 tackles for a loss the last two seasons with the Fighting Irish, showing off his ability to penetrate offensive backfields. He did that by using his powerful hands while ripping through blockers, moving linemen aside with a strong first punch. Tagovailoa also makes use of those hands to cause turnovers: two forced fumbles and two forced fumbles. During his time in college, he was always looking for the ball, and he ended up recovering four fumbles.
You saw Notre Dame DT Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (95) get the sack, but did you see him walk back a 6'4/320 guard? Grown man stuff from MTA. pic.twitter.com/JKfR6MmIN7
— Matt Freeman (@mattfreemanISD) October 27, 2020
While he might be too undersized to play inside regularly, he showed an ability to play either the 3 or 5-technique at Notre Dame. Due to his size, he would be an unconventional edge rusher, but he consistently demonstrated sideline to sideline speed as he pursued running backs. That’s a strong indication he won’t be a liability in run defense or coverage once a play breaks down. In fact, Pro Football Focus awarded him an 81.7 coverage grade. Tagovailoa gets off the ball with a decent amount of explosiveness and will hit his gaps with striking urgency, whether he’s going through a blocker or using a nice counter spin inside.
He does lack straight-line speed with little bend, so he won’t be an every-down defender any time soon. However, that doesn’t mean Patrick Graham can’t make use of his abilities inside. Perhaps he’ll find a niche as a sub-package rusher.
Tagovailoa-Amosa has plenty of potential
Depending on what type of look Patrick Graham is using, the Raiders will benefit from having so many versatile linemen such as Tagovailoa, Neil Farrell, and Matthew Butler. That alone gives him an advantage over the unimpressive run stuffers that the Raiders possess.
Just a 282-pound defensive tackle reading a screen, beating two blocks, moving laterally and tackling a running back for a three-yard loss.
In terms of ability (Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa) and coaching (Mike Elston), this is really impressive. pic.twitter.com/kqbBySURCz
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) September 17, 2020
Tagovailoa is a leader both off and on the field. His competitive drive and work ethic will also serve him well in trying to crack the pros. That passionate play shows on tape; Tagovailoa makes the most of what he has physically combined with respectable effort. He’ll be someone to keep an eye on once camp gets underway.
*Top Photo: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images