Jonah Tavai NFL Draft

Jonah Tavai

  • IDL San Diego State
  • Senior
  • #324
  • 6'
  • 295lbs
  • Prospect
  • Mountain West

Prospect Summary

Jonah Tavai 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report


  • Top-25 high school rugby player for two years
  • Four of his brothers have played or currently play Division 1 football
  • 2019 transfer from El Camino College


  • Scheme tendencies: 3-3-5
  • 2022 projected role: Co-starting defensive end and defensive tackle

Pros: The first thing that stood out to me was Jonah Tavai’s frame and build. He has a stout, compact frame with a low center of gravity. Natural leverage is a given advantage for Tavai. He springs from his hips and shoots his hand underneath the opponent’s pads. His pad level is not a concern due to natural low gravity. He generates quick power to drive blockers backward and reset the line of scrimmage. Tavai has a hot motor and plays like his hair is on fire. In limited reps, he engages with pop out of a two-point stance. For his defense, he is the anchor and star of the run defense. His arm length forces him to box inside—his powerful hands can beat up the opponent’s body. 

Cons: He does not have the ideal measurements to play full-time nose tackle in the NFL. Being on the shorter end of the spectrum has its pros and cons. Jonah Tavai lacks the ideal arm length to lockout OL and cover his chest. The poor length makes it difficult to land his punches from the outside. Unless he wins with quick swipes, bull rushes, or punches, the OL’s length can cap his rush attempts. Despite his strong run defense for San Diego State, Tavai will be regulated to 4i or 5-technique in the NFL.

Jonah Tavai NFL Draft Scouting Report by Damian Parson