Defensive End #90
Son of a coach and a 4 year contributor, Kaufusi is loaded with potential
– Hustle and motor
– Initial pad level
– Questionable speed and burst to turn the corner
– Play strength
– Gets high on contact
– Inconsistent hand usage, extension – shoulders first then hands often
– Habit of getting blocked by and stuck on TEs
– Ineffective and poor technique when taking on cut blocks
– Floor seems like a starting 5t
– Sent on a lot of twists and stunts
– Thin lower half
– Completed Mormon Mission prior to entering college
Kaufusi was a four star recruit from Utah that completed his mission in Australia prior to entering college. He was able to play all four seasons at BYU, with 2015 being his best. His freshman, sophomore and senior year Kaufusi played defensive end. His junior year, he lost weight and attempted to move to outside linebacker. The experiment by most accounts was a failure, resulting the switch back to end for his final season. His father, Steve Kaufusi, had a 3 year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1988-1990 and is currently BYU’s defensive line coach. Word is that Steve Kaufusi is honest and realistic when it comes to the positives and negatives in his sons game which will certainly help with the transition to the NFL.
Kaufusi looks like a frame/potential prospect by which I mean he’s got the frame you want and is loaded with potential. The issue with that is he’s been loaded with this potential since his freshman year and has yet to reach that potential. Fortunately Kaufusi’s senior season was by far his best statistically so things might be finally clicking on the level many have expected. Only negative about the season totals are that six of his ten sacks from 2015 came in 2 of his 13 games (3 versus Cincinnati who was 7-6 and 3 versus Fresno St who was 3-9). Another positive is his motor and hustle. A lot of his production came from that which is both a positive and a negative. His combine numbers are also something that is exciting evaluators.
My concern is whether those numbers translate to the field, which never seemed to be the case in the games I watched. He doesn’t appear to have an elite first step or the burst to turn the corner with the consistency you look for in an edge defender or pass rushing lineman. He also seems like he needs to improve his play strength, particularly in his lower half.
I want to give him a higher grade based on the potential, frame and but based on production and film he’s a day 3 pick to me. But I’ve heard from multiple media outlets saying it shouldn’t be a surprise if Kaufusi is taken late 1st, early 2nd. Kaufusi is a true wild card in this draft, but with the perceived weakness of this defensive class being ends/edge players, Kaufusi’s stock may be pushed up. I think his floor would be as a starting 5 tech defensive end in a 3-4 style defense.
Round Value: 3-4
Games watched: Fresno St 2015, Cincinnati 2015, UConn 2014