Could Chicago Bears find the answer at tackle with this prospect?
Daniel Faalele is one of the most interesting prospects in the 2022 NFL draft class. There is not a prospect in this group that is like him. To start, he comes from Melbourne, Australia, and he grew up playing rugby and basketball. He moved to Florida and played football for one season before playing for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Is this a player who could be on the Chicago Bears’ radar?
Daniel Faalele measurements and statistics
Weight: 384 pounds
Arm Length: 35 1/8″
Wing Span: 85 1/8″
Hand Size: 11″
Bench Press: 24 reps
31 career starts at right tackle.
Per Pro Football Focus:
1,503 snaps played
900 run block snaps (4 sacks allowed, 4 hits allowed, 13 hurries allowed)
603 pass-block snaps
Daniel Faalele’s strengths that can translate to the NFL
The obvious strength is literally the strength that he possesses. Faalele will be such an interesting prospect to cover because there are few NFL players as big as him, and the NFL features some of the bigger and stronger men out there.
His size and weight come into handy as an offensive lineman, but that comes with a strong anchor. When he plants his feet and has a strong base, he becomes an immovable object.
On top of his strength comes impressive footwork for a human that big. He is certainly not clumsy, and you can see a former basketball player as he can shuffle and slide back in his pass sets. Faalele is also a house coming downhill, and if he can get a head of steam, he can run over anything in his way.
The combination of size and footwork presents the upside of a player who could be the best at his position, and that has to add intrigue
Daniel Faalele’s weaknesses that will affect his NFL projection
Just five years of being a football player are going to come with growing pains. His footwork is adequate, but at times he can still be beaten by pass rushers who have an angle on him. He struggles to bend at his size, and players with ankle flexion can dip below.
He also can overset at times, and that makes him susceptible to being beaten easily by counters. Faalele has quick feet, but with that much power comes a lagging change of direction.
Lance Zeirelein of NFL.com noted that he sees Daniel Faalele think and not play at times, and that can be shown mainly from his hand usage. When he connects on a punch it gets felt, but often he looks like he is thinking about what to do with his hands rather than using them to engage in action.
Lastly, there are some questions about his playing demeanor. He does not finish blocks and does not approach defenders with the tenacity that you often see from a lineman who may be a former wrestler.
Check out our NFL comparison for Daniel Faalele