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Monday, February 25, 2013

DT Lotuleilei - Heart Condition

Top DT Star Lotuleilei had already been in a bit of a fall, if you
asked the internet; oddly enough, after no games had been played in the
last few months he'd started to be overtaken by Florida DT Sharrif Floyd
in some rankings. Now, I imagine the whole top of the draft to be in
flux, with Lotuleilei having been diagnosed with a heart condition.

It's hard to say what will happen. Having just been diagnosed, it's
difficult to know what his situation is, much less how NFL teams will
react. Panthers fans, I'm seeing, are quick to bring up Frank
Alexander, once considered a top DE that went in the 4th round.
Alexander missed the combine drills because of a potential heart
condition, and in March, it was determined there wasn't an issue. It
still pushed Alexander to fall, and I'm sure plenty of people are hoping
for Star to fall, too.

I'm not sure how to think about that, either. If everything checks out
OK, I'd be great with that. But I'm no cardiologist. I don't know if a
44% efficiency in one valve is that much different than a "normal" of
55-70%.

And after a massive streak of good #1s (when they're not trading them
away), it would be tough to gamble too hard on a medical issue. You
can't coach medical. And I'm reminded of two former Raiders - Chester
McGlockton (a Chief, Raider, 4 time Pro Bowler) died of an enlarged
heart at 42; and Leon Bender, a 2nd rounder in 1998 (a replacement for
McGlockton, as he went to the Chiefs that year), who died of a seizure
based on what I believe was an undiagnosed condition before he played a
single game.

So, it's wait and see, but it'll probably move some other DTs (and
hopefully DEs) ahead of our pick. Floyd, for what it's worth, ran a
4.87 40, and has impressive tape. My worry with Floyd, who on tape
reminds me a lot of Sheldon Richardson of Missouri, is that he doesn't
hold up as much at the point of attack as the larger guys. He's a gap
shooter, which is fine in this defense, and he could play the 5
technique well. But he's not a double team guy. And, unlike Richardson
and his long arms/long frame, Floyd's short 31" arms are a detriment to
a point; they make leverage more difficult, and if he rushes outside at
the 5 or 7, he's going to lose something to a massive right tackle.
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