Coverage - Doesn’t always appear comfortable with zone drops. Tall in his pedal which elongates his pivot and hinge ability. Not quick to recognize or anticipate routes to his zone. May have some situational upside in man coverage.
Tackling - Heat-seeking missile once he commits to his path but he needs to arrive to the point of attack with far better control. Adequate tackle radius and he will make tackles outside his frame. Missed tackles became more of a problem in 2018 than 2017.
Blocks - Love his mentality dealing with blocks. He explodes into contact but he needs to develop more technique in terms of leveraging his hips, playing with extensions and placing his hands to control and shuck.
Physicality - Everything he does is executed with physicality and aggression. While it often comes at the expense of technique, Takitaki will stick his face in a fan and like it.
Motor - He’s physical, active and urgent in the way he plays. Attacks the football with intent and is always looking for a physical exchange. Love how he overcame a troubled start his BYU career to becoming a team leader in 2018/
Processing - Fairly quick at identifying the direction of the play. Doesn’t always illustrate good spatial awareness in terms of recognizing blockerse or routes to his area in coverage. Trigger playing into the line of scrimmage against inside run can be a tick slow.
Range - Has good timed speed but his range on tape was below that, partly because his pursuit angles can be erratic. Tracks in coverage to close distances need to be sharper.
Flexibility - Needs to play with better leverage in his pedal, taking on blocks and when tackling. Can be slippery working around blocks but it comes at the expense of widening lanes.
Versatility - Don’t love his processing skills as an inside linebacker and his consistency in space as a WILL is concerning. Developing consistency with reads and technique are essential to where he can fit at the next level.
BEST TRAIT - Physicality
WORST TRAIT - Blocks
RED FLAGS - Numerous off-field issues and suspensions early in his career. Charged with misdemeanor theft in 2015 for stealing BYU athletic equipment when working as a custodian. Spent 2016 away from football. Other suspensions were for fighting and missing team events.
Takitaki had a troubling beginning to his BYU career but put everything together and became a team captain in 2018. There is a lot to like about Takitaki’s demeanor on the field. Executing with urgency and physicality, Takitaki has tone-setter qualities on the second level. With that said, his technique for deconstructing blocks, tackling and processing skills all need to be fine-tuned. Takitaki should immediately be a standout and special teams with the potential to start in time.
Round Grade - Mid Day Three