Star Lotulelei Puts NFL Combine Behind Him, Impresses at Utah Utes Pro Day

By Tyler Brett
Brian Spurlock – USA TODAY Sports

Star Lotulelei is considered one of the top prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft and many speculate he could be the No. 1 overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs. His stock took a bit of a hit, however, when he was unable to participate at the NFL combine due to abnormal test result raised concerns about his heart. Lotulelei was cleared, however, and participated fully in the Utah Utes pro day on Wednesday where he put on a show.

The massive defensive tackle tested well across the board, according to those in attendance. Unofficially, Lotulelei ran a 4.65 time in the shuttle run, put up 38 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press and recorded a 30-inch vertical leap. He set out to prove he wasn’t hampered by the abnormal test result he had at the combine while displaying his strength and show scouts that he can move well for a big guy. Initial reports indicate that mission was accomplished.

At 6-foot-2, 311 pounds, Lotulelei has the size and strength to be a fixture in the middle of a defensive line for years to come. He can disrupt offenses by penetrating into the backfield and consumes blockers, allowing linebackers to flow free and make plays. Last season with the Utes, Lotulelei recorded 42 tackles, including 10 for loss and five sacks with three forced fumbles.

Lotulelei believes the abnormal test that forced him to sit out of the combine was caused by a virus. The concern stemmed from an abnormally low ejection fraction as the left ventricle of his heart was pumping at only 44 percent efficiency. The Utes DT said it had already started to clear itself up a week later when he was retested in Salt Lake City and was medically cleared by doctors at that time.

With his performance at Utah’s pro day, Lotulelei put to rest any of the concerns with his health and sent his draft stock rising again. Now, he can look forward to the draft and where he will be playing next season, though he probably won’t have to wait too long to find out once the draft begins April 25.

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