There are always a few small-school NFL Draft prospects you may never have heard of or seen on your television on Saturday afternoons in the fall, but who find the eye of NFL scouts nonetheless. One of the most intriguing prospect in that category for 2012 is Amini Silatolu, a 6-foot-3, 312-pound offensive guard from someplace called Midwestern State.
When I went looking for scouting reports on Silatolu, they all said pretty much the same thing. The one from Wes Bunting of the National Football Post was typical:
"He has some technique flaws that needs to be fixed and will need to kick inside at the next level. However, he's a wide-bodied athlete with a powerful/explosive frame, good foot quickness and can really pull from the backside. Might need some time, but is one of the top guards in the class with as much upside as any."
The very lengthy video below shows Silatolu as a man among boys as he shows his mean streak by pretty much brutalizing outclassed and under-sized opponents.
Amini Silatolu Highlights (via benniemac22)
"Played left tackle in college but will kick inside to guard at the next level because he lacks the length to play outside in the NFL. He is raw but very mean and strong making him an ideal fit at guard. There are concerns about how quickly he will pick up the offensive system, which is why his grade is lower, but if he picks it up then he has a shot to start one day."
CBS Sports says Silatolu "could be a first-round surprise" and might be a fit for the Giants:
"One of the biggest reasons for the Giants' success in recent years has been their talent in the trenches, but the aging offensive line needs a facelift. Despite a talented backfield of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, the Giants finished last in the league in rushing yards per game and a large part of the blame belongs to the blockers. Although he played against lower level of competition, Silatolu might be one of the most aggressive blockers in this group. He started at left tackle in college, but looks ideal moving inside to guard and could be a first round surprise."
"Silatolu is a large, athletic interior lineman who has the ability to smother his opponents and consistently sustain his blocks through the end of plays. Coming from a small school like Midwestern State facing little competition, he will have an adjustment period far greater than other linemen as he enters the league. It is likely that a team will want to move him from his college position of tackle to inside, where his height will be more serviceable and he can use his athletic ability to get up field more often in the run game. Silatolu's greatest attribute is his footwork, as he is quick off the line of scrimmage and an active puller who can get outside, move up field and locate his blocks to quickly engage. He does not have great leverage or explosiveness in his play but possesses many strong assets for an interior lineman, giving him early second-round value to a team with the patience to develop him into a starter."
I am intrigued by the reports on this guy. The Giants are OK at guard for now with Chris Snee and either Kevin Boothe or Mitch Petrus, possibly affording them the ability to draft someone like this who might require some patience but pay long-range dividends. We also know Reese and the Giants always think big picture, another thing that might put a player like this in play.
Amini Silatolu Profile
Weight: 312 pounds
40 time: 5.43
School: Midwestern State