Laiatu Latu 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Transferred to UCLA after three seasons at Washington
- Played in 12 of 13 games as a freshman at Washington
- Forced to medically retire after his freshman year due to a significant neck injury but was able to return in 2022
- Scheme tendencies: Scheme-versatile but best suited as an outside linebacker in a 3-4
- 2022 projected role: Rotational pass rusher who has inside/outside versatility
Pros: Laiatu Latu has had to overcome plenty of adversity throughout his collegiate career. A former four-star recruit, Latu enrolled at Washington with high expectations. He played well as a true freshman and appeared on track for a strong career. However, he had to medically retire the following fall with a severe neck injury. Now healthy, Latu has taken the college landscape by storm as he currently is the sack leader halfway through the season. Latu offers good size and above-average overall athleticism. He aligns as an outside linebacker in UCLA’s multiple front system and rushes from both a two-point and three-point stance. He shows good initial quickness to win the edge and above-average power to convert speed to power and catch the tackle on their heels. He offers very good lateral agility and has the ability to shake opposing offensive linemen. Latu is at his best when he reduces down inside as his quickness and agility are too much for guards to handle. He offers a relentless motor and has a knack for finishing at the QB.
Cons: Laiatu Latu has been very productive in his season back from injury, but a lot of his production comes late in the down as he plays with such good effort. He lacks the ability to bend and flatten the arc due to having tight ankles and hips. Latu is a bit of a tweener as he isn’t explosive enough to consistently win edges against tackles who can get out of their stance, but he also lacks the anchor and power to hold up against the run inside. Latu has impressive length, but he needs to use it more to his advantage and play with better leverage. His injury history and medicals will be important to monitor.
Laiatu Latu NFL Draft Scouting Report by Brentley Weissman