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Commish: Making the Case for Utah DT Star Lotulelei

By: Justin Pawlowski
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(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Justin Solo Justin Pawlowski
After a successful four years at Tampa Catholic, Justin's passion...
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Leading up to Draft day on April 25th, I will be “making the case” for different players to be selected or not selected by the Bucs with the 13th overall selection.

For each player, I will give reasons why the Buccaneers should strongly consider that player and why they should pass on that player as well.

Here. We. Go.

With the 13th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Star Lotulelei – Defensive Tackle – Utah

On the surface, it would not seem that a player like Lotulelei would slide this much in a normal draft, but this is far from a normal draft. If Lotulelei makes it past the Philadelphia Eagles, there is a distinct possibility to slides right to the Bucs selection.

Lotulelei is a strong and physical defensive tackle with surprising agility and nimbleness. He can be a force in stopping the run, but also provide added pressure on opposing quarterbacks in passing situations.

The Buccaneers recently allowed Roy Miller to leave in free agency, so a need for a nose tackle to play next to Gerald McCoy is there. Lotulelei would immediately be an upgrade over the departed Miller in regards to strength, power, and quickness. An issue I believe the Bucs had with Miller was his inability to rush the quarterback and how easily he was solo blocked. Lotulelei would force a double team or beat the single block.

Lotulelei has his faults as well.

People will focus on his health, but it is his long-term passion that might be the bigger concern.

Lotulelei quit football after a season in Junior College where he ballooned up to 350 lbs and said he lost his passion for the game. This was after he was forced to leave BYU because of grades. While he did come back and play for Utah, there is concern that Lotulelei’s passion mind not be enough to withstand “toes on the ground.”

The other question is the obvious heart condition from the combine. This does not concern me near as much as the lack of passion. It has been reported that Lotulelei has received a clean bill of health from multiple teams.

Well, there you have it.  The arguments are there to either draft or to pass on Utah DT Star Lotulelei.  Which way would you go?  Call The Commish during his show heard weekdays 9-noon and let him know!

Don’t forget to party with The Commish Thursday (4/25) and Friday (4/26) at Ferg’s Sports Bar near Tropicana Field for the NFL Draft!  Both nights, The Commish will be on the air live starting at 7:00.

Here are other players The Commish has “made the case” for:

Tavon Austin – WR – West Virginia

Xavier Rhodes – CB – Florida St.

Jarvis Jones – OLB – Georgia

Desmond Trufant – CB – Washington

Margus Hunt – DE – SMU

Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame

For updates on the Buccaneers off-season moves in free agency and the NFL Draft, be sure to follow Justin Pawlowski and 98.7 The Fan on twitter.

Catch The Commish weekdays from 9-12 on 98.7 The Fan

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