Eku Leota 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Grad transfer from Northwestern
- Third-team All-Big-Ten (2020)
- Lettered in football and basketball in high school
- Scheme tendencies: 3-4 base
- 2022 projected role: Starting OLB
Pros: A versatile edge rusher for the Tigers’ defense, Eku Leota plays from wide and reduced alignments. His long arm was quick to identify—he uses that 34.5-inch reach to keep OTs at his preferred distance. He sets a strong and hard edge versus the run by stacking/locking his arms out. Good power to stand up OL at the point of attack in the run game. I like his motor and the constant pursuit of the football. Leota consistently throws his punches to deconstruct blocks. Uses his powerful lower body to anchor before driving through blocks. His pass-rush package consists of double hand swipes and dip/rip combinations. Leota showcases decently fluid hips to sink and redirect back across the OT’s face. There are flashes of his ability to bend the corner and flatten to the quarterback. His hips and feet allow him to slip interior blocks for quick penetration. His eyes are in the backfield reading and locating the football. I am excited about his projection as a 3-4 OLB at the next level.
Cons: The technical aspect of Eku Leota’s game has room to improve. He has a somewhat raw or undeveloped pass-rush plan and package. He does not have enough counters. His hand placement can increase the effectiveness of his swipes. Adding a consistent long arm to drive the OT backward with a speed-to-power conversion can elevate his win rates. He operated a fair share as a wide-angle rusher and must use the space he is given more effectively. His lack of hand skills shows up when tasked to rush from a condensed split. Identifying blocking patterns will be important to improve on. Leota will get sucked into the backfield on screen plays before chasing the play down. I would like to see him identify those sequences to be in a better position to track the ball.
Eku Leota NFL Draft Scouting Report by Damian Parson