2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Minnesota OT Daniel Faalele

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

The Minnesota Gophers are a hard-nosed, ground and pound style offense. Behind running back Mohamed Ibrahim, head coach P.J. Fleck loves to punish defenses. A large portion of their success can be attributed to right tackle Daniel Faalele. At 6-8 and 380 pounds, Faalele is a mythological human in the trenches. As explained in this scouting report, we’ll breakdown Daniel Faalele and look at his future in the NFL, as well as where he might be drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft.

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Daniel Faalele 40 Time

I have Daniel Faalele posting a 40 time in the 5.4’s. As an offensive tackle, a quick 40-yard dash isn’t a necessity. Rather, the 20-yard shuttle, as well as the 3-cone drill, are much more important in terms of an evaluation of speed and quickness. I have Faalele posting a 40 time that is just slightly below the NFL average of 5.32 for the offensive tackle position. On film, Daniel Faalele has average quickness to stay in front of speedy rushers off the edge. Additionally, he’s able to get to the second-level and block linebackers. However, I don’t see him being quick enough to attack defenders in the second-level to establish leverage and create running lanes.

 

Daniel Faalele Injury History

Last season, Daniel Faalele opted out of the college football season due to concerns over Covid-19. During the 2019 season, Faalele missed two games due to an injury, including a mid-season game against Nebraska. In addition to the Nebraska game, Faalele also injured his knee against Wisconsin and was forced to miss the bowl game against Auburn as well.

 

Daniel Faalele Scouting Report

Pros
  • Good Strength To Lockout Defenders And Maximize Leverage
  • Great Use Of Hands To Keep Defender In Front Of Him
  • Uses Size And Strength To Create Drive Through Defenders
Cons
  • Lacks Necessary Quickness To Handle Speedy Rushers Off The Edge
  • Struggles To Handle Inside Rush Moves From Defensive Ends And Linebackers
  • Tends To Struggle Against Aggressive Hand Usage From Defense

Daniel Faalele is a three-year player for the Minnesota Gophers that opted out of the 2020 season due to Covid-19. Has played right tackle for the Gophers. Has elite height and weight for the offensive tackle position. Has adequate speed and quickness for the position. Has a good use of hands to force edge rushers to take a wide arc when rushing the passer. Displays a good ability to lock out his arms to maximize leverage and keep the rusher in front of him. Does a great job of driving through defenders to create running lanes for the ball carrier.

Faalele has a good ability to bat down hand usage from defenders to stun their pass rush. Features a solid ability to drive through defenders when asked to pull and run block inside. Has a solid ability to reach the second-level and execute efficient blocks. Does a fantastic job of getting low to create maximum drive in goal line situations. Finally, Faalele also has a good ability to handle bull rush and spin moves and remain calm.

Meanwhile, Daniel Faalele has an adequate quickness ability to handle delayed rushers and recover. When inside the goal line and asked to pull and block inside, he has an adequate ability to locate the ball carrier and keep running lanes open. While he’s able to get to the second-level to block, he lacks the necessary quickness to attack defenders before the ball carrier can get to the same level. Finally, Daniel Faalele struggles to handle inside rush moves, giving the defense a clear path to the quarterback.

 

Daniel Faalele NFL Draft Projection

I currently have a mid-second to early-third round grade on Daniel Faalele in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. As a senior, Faalele could be invited to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. If this does indeed happen, look for his draft stock to increase even more.

While I have some concerns with his quickness, Faalele has elite size and strength for the offensive line. I’m not sure if a move inside would benefit his development, but I feel like he’s more than capable of doing so. Furthermore, it’s my belief that the right tackle position, which he played exclusively at Minnesota, is a natural position for his abilities.

With the NFL Combine set to kickoff the month of March, on-field drills will be something that I’ll have my eyes on when it comes to Daniel Faalele. If he’s able to show off his ability to get out of his stance quickly, and handle speedy edge rushers, then I could see him rising up draft boards.

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