Let's continue our series of 2011 NFL Draft prospect profiles by looking at one of the more intriguing defensive tackles in the 2011 NFL Draft. Oregon State strongman Stephen Paea is one of those "unfinished" type players, and I have seen his name occasionally connected to the New York Giants in mock drafts.
Whenever the labor situation gets resolved the Giants very well might lose defensive tackle Barry Cofield via free agency. Veteran Rocky Bernard has never really earned the big contract the Giants handed him two seasons ago. Chris Canty is a good, though entirely unspectacular player, inside. Linval Joseph is a mountain of a man and looked like he could be a top-notch run defender during the 2010 exhibition season, but never really got a chance to display his skills during the regular season.
I believe the Giants drafted Joseph thinking they would eventually need a replacement for Cofield, but supplementing this spot is hardly a bad idea.
Scouting reports on Paea after the jump.
DT, Oregon State
6-foot-1, 311 pounds
From the National Football Post:
An explosive, thickly built defensive tackle who displays an impressive first step off the snap and consistently is one of the first defensive linemen moving. ... Demonstrates the first step to cross the face of opposing defenders and shoot his way into the backfield, but also displays good suddenness and body control as a pass rusher inside.
Possesses impressive anchor strength for his size. However, isn't a guy who will sit into his stance and control blocks in the run game. But his combination burst and lower body strength make him really tough to move off the football. Even vs. the double he has the ability to hold his ground inside.
Impression: He's explosive, powerful and can consistently overpower blockers at the point of attack. However, because of his lack of length and ability to cleanly shed blocks in the run game, looks limited to more of a one-gap scheme in the NFL. But has the ability to start and play at a high level early in his NFL career.
From Mocking The Draft:
Paea possesses excellent strength to bull rush offensive linemen back into the pocket. Has a good initial burst off the line. Is mostly a straight forward rusher and his only move is power. ... Paea might not be the widest of bodies, but he is a rock in the middle of Oregon State's defense. He anchors especially well because of his lower body strength. He's hard to move off the line and routinely requires double teams. As a senior, Paea faced a lot of triple teams in the run game. Although he can anchor just fine, Paea's best spot in the pros might be a three-technique in a 4-3 scheme. ... Paea is known as a weight room superstar and is one of the strongest players in the draft. ... Can be a devastating tackler due to his power and short-area burst. Likes to try and strip the ball when making a tackle. Holds Oregon State's all-time record for fumbles forced.
Paea is an entertaining player to watch. He's a squatty, powerful defensive tackle who generates a lot of penetration. Paea has a lot of upside considering he only played three seasons of American football prior to playing for Oregon State in 2008. Paea still has room to grow, particularly in the technical aspects of the game.
From Draft Countdown:
A freak in the weight room who is going to be a Workout Warrior --- Considered entering the 2010 NFL Draft, where he likely would have been selected in the top three rounds --- Could play either the three-technique or nose in a 4-3 scheme or perhaps even nose tackle in a "30" front --- Intriguing prospect due to well- rounded game, versatility and intangibles --- Best football's still ahead.
-- See SB Nation's Mocking The Draft for complete draft coverage.