Alabama linebacker Henry To’oTo’o is one of the top linebackers in his draft class coming off of a First-Team All-SEC nod in 2022. He’s a strong tackler with excellent lateral mobility and great instincts. That set of traits has lent itself to making Henry To’oTo’o one of the most notable and vocal leaders on a solid Alabama defense, taking command of the unit and making sure his teammates were lined up correctly on every play. On top of that, the Alabama product has the versatility to be effective against both the run and the pass.
Henry To’oTo’o projects as a potential late day-two pick, and here are the four teams that could serve as his best fits.
The Dolphins did well to maintain their linebacker depth to start the offseason by signing David Long Jr. and re-signing Duke Riley. Long is likely the starter next to Jerome Baker and has some pass-coverage upside, and Riley is primarily a special teamer that can also provide valuable depth at linebacker in pass-coverage situations.
To’oTo’o still needs a bit of development, particularly in his block deconstruction against the run, but has the upside to provide quality depth at the position against the pass. In the long-term, there’s a path to the Alabama product becoming a leader of Miami’s defense with his natural athleticism.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It hasn’t been that long since the Buccaneers won a Super Bowl, but their roster suddenly needs a lot of help on both sides of the ball. One such spot that could become a more pressing need is at linebacker after Devin White reportedly requested a trade. Even if the team doesn’t move on from White, the linebacker is in the final year of his rookie contract, and Tampa Bay could use a young replacement that brings a similar set of skills.
To’oTo’o’s athleticism, ranginess, leadership skills, and potential as a blitzer would keep the Buccaneers’ front seven in a good spot should White depart this offseason or next, especially with some development against the run.
New York Giants
The Giants added Bobby Okereke to be the veteran middle linebacker in Wink Martindale’s defense, but they still need a young player to fill the hole beside him as the other inside linebacker in their 3-4 base defensive scheme. Okereke is a reliable tackler and solid against the run, though his reliability as an off-ball linebacker in coverage hasn’t been as steady since a strong rookie season in 2019.
To’oTo’o has a complementary set of skills as a stronger linebacker in pass coverage that could use some development in his run defense. He’s also a guy with high potential as a blitzer, which fits perfectly into Martindale’s style of defense. Building a needy front seven over the next four years around a 26-year-old Okereke and the 22-year-old To’oTo’o up the middle is a vision that makes plenty of sense for New York.
The Titans were on the short end of the stick with Long this offseason with his aforementioned move to the Dolphins in free agency. They did bring in some linebackers of their own in free agency with Azeez Al-Shaair and Luke Gifford on the inside, but Al-Shaair has had some injury issues over the last couple of years and Gifford has played just 70 snaps on defense in his four-year career thus far.
To’oTo’o is the instinctive, reliable tackler the Titans could be missing at inside linebacker now that Long is in Miami. He can contribute handily on passing downs early in his career and is a leader that could eventually become the green-dot guy in head coach Mike Vrabel’s defense down the road.
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