The 2014 NFL Draft right around the corner and is only 16 days away. I will be providing my readers with a spotlight on some possible day one draft prospects for the San Francisco 49ers. So far we have talked about wide receivers, safeties and corners. Now it’s time to show a little love for the guys in the trenches. Next up is UCLA guard Xavier Su’a-Filo.
Su’a-Filo is a guy that stood out at the combine. Gil Brandt predicted that he would impress scouts at the combine. He certainly did just that. Su’a-Filo started 40 games while he was at UCLA. He has experience starting at both guard and tackle. He is able to use his athleticism at guard to fire off the ball well and create wholes in the running game. He is at his best when pulling and combo blocking to get to the second level of the defense.
Su’a-Filo is also a solid pass blocker.
“In my offense I was more effective at guard. I was able to play tackle and step in where needed. Wherever I am needed to step in and play I am willing to do it. Coach Mora taught me about being accountable and responsible for my teammates. He taught us discipline, doing exactly what the coach wants all the time, being responsible on and off the field. Things like that.”
Su’a-Filo may not be a day one starter but he is an excellent developmental player that will be a pro bowl caliber player at some point. He is athletic and can fill two positions for a team. His value is more down the line and teams will need to choose which position that they want him to be featured as. My projection for him is at guard due to his quick feet which is needed for “phone booth” battles along the interior line. He will need to get a bit stronger to go against the interior lineman in the NFL.
How will he help the 49ers?
Su’a-Filo will help the 49ers because of his versatility. He can play both guard and tackle. The 49ers like to use a lot of angle blocking techniques. His athleticism is a good match for their scheme. Su’a-Filo is also very good at executing trap blocks, another thing that the 49ers like to use to spring Frank Gore. Mike Iupati and Alex Boone are both getting ready for new deals. It may be difficult to keep both of them and if one leaves, Su’a-Filo can step in for them.
NFL Comparison: Ben Grubbs. Both of these players are athletic enough to handle speed rushers. They have protypical size for a guard. Grubbs is a little bit bigger at 6-3 310 pounds but Su’a-Filo has good size as well (6-4 307 pounds). These are two players who do their best in run blocking due to their athleticism.
6-4 307 pounds
33 3/8 inch arms
9 3/8 inch hands
5.04 40 yd dash
4.44 20 yd shuttle
25 inch vertical
8.5 broad jump
25 reps bench press
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