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Fili Moala (DT)

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by CowboyFan74, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. CowboyFan74

    CowboyFan74 Cowboys Analyst

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    This guy sounds like a nice compliment to share the load with the Rat...:starspin


    Fili Moala (DT)
    Height: 6'4"
    Weight: 305
    College: Southern Cal
    Conference: Pac 10
    Hometown: Buena Park, CA
    High School: Western


    Statistics do not always tell the true value a player brings to a team, and Moala is a perfect example. Much of the success of the Trojans' defense over the past three years has been because of their linebackers having free reign to constantly blitz the opposition's backfield. In order for USC to accomplish that feat as well as it has, the Trojans needed a dominating force to control the middle of the field. Much like his cousin, former Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (2002-05), now with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, Moala more than capably filled that role.
    When one examines the Moala's college career, they should not look at 90 tackles in 52 games. What numbers really tell the true story is the progression of the defense in the national rankings with Moala starting.

    During his freshman season as a reserve, the Trojans ranked 31st in the nation in rush defense (130.54 ypg), 48th in total defense (360.92 ypg) and 35th in scoring defense (22.85 ppg). In his first year as a starter, USC improved to ninth in the nation vs. the run (91.08 ypg), 20th in total defense (295.85 ypg) and 11th in scoring defense (15.15 ppg). As a junior, USC continued to move up the national charts, finishing fourth vs. the run (84.15 ypg), second in total defense (273.15 ypg) and second in scoring defense (16.0 ppg) in 2007.

    In his final season, the Trojans allowed just 87.38 yards per game on the ground (fifth in the NCAA), ranking second in the country in total defense (221.77 ypg) while leading the major colleges in scoring defense (9.0 ppg). Coach Pete Carroll recently said, "Fili is difficult to block. Plus, the experience and leadership he brings is really valuable."

    At Western High School, an early-season foot ligament injury sidelined Moala for all but two of his senior season games. He still earned 2002 Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tom Lemming All-West and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 honors as a two-way lineman. As a junior, he was named All-CIF Division IX and All-League while posting 60 tackles and four sacks.

    Moala originally signed with Southern California in 2003, but did not qualify for admission. He attended Cypress (Calif.) Junior College that semester as a part-time student (did not play football there). He joined the Trojans in 2004, where he was named their Service Team Defensive Player of the Year, retaining freshman eligibility.

    In 2006, Moala started three early-season games at nose guard for an injured Sedrick Ellis. He later shifted to weak-side defensive tackle, starting the final seven contests. He earned Sophomore All-American and All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention, posting 20 tackles (10 solos) with 2.5 sacks, seven stops for losses and four pass deflections.

    Moala started all 13 games at weak-side tackle during his junior campaign. He was a first-team All-Pac 10 Conference choice. He missed a good portion of spring drills with a left ankle sprain, but was fully recovered by the season opener. He went on to register a career-high 32 tackles (14 solos) that included 2.5 sacks and 5.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

    Moala received All-American recognition, in addition to picking up first-team All-Pac 10 and team Defensive Lineman of the Year honors. The Senior Bowl invitee started all 13 games, ending his career with a sting of 33 consecutive starts. He delivered 30 tackles (16 solos) with a career-high 10 stops for losses, including 4.5 sacks. He also caused a fumble and blocked a pair of kicks.

    Junior College Originally signed with USC in 2003, but did not qualify for admission, so he attended Cypress (Calif.) Junior College in 2003 as a part-time student (he didn't play football there).

    High School Attended Western (Anaheim, Cal.) High School...An early-season foot ligament injury sidelined Moala for all but two of his senior season games...Still earned 2002 Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tom Lemming All-West and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 honors as a two-way lineman...As a junior, he was named All-CIF Division IX and All-League while posting 60 tackles and four sacks.
  2. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

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    He puts on 15 lbs, he is everything AND MORE that all the Brace supporters want in a back up NT. Moala is a DE now too.

    I have other players I would want more between 2-3 (where he is projected) but I would not complain if we took a player of his caliber.
  3. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    Love to have him or Dorrell Scott. Plug em in anywhere on 3-4 or a 4-3.
  4. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    NFLDraftScout compares him to Vince Wilfork, he could play both NT and end in a 3-4
  5. SLATEmosphere

    SLATEmosphere Benched

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    I wouldn't mind him with out 3rd rounder..it might a little too high but it could essentially take care of two positions. NT and DE with rat moving over if Spears leaves next year.
  6. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

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    He is a projected 2nd rounder, getting him in the 3rd would be serendipity.
  7. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Funny, I was just thinking earlier today that this is a guy who was mentioned to us earlier in the process, but his name seems to have disappeared the last couple of weeks.

    I know we're going to get a good D-lineman, whether it be at NT or DE. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the process this weekend. :D
  8. SLATEmosphere

    SLATEmosphere Benched

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    With an early 3rd, it's possible.
  9. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

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    IMO, he does not slide out of the 2nd. He was originally projected as a first rounder, and w/all the new 3-4 teams, he will be a hot commodity in the 2nd round.

    But I won't argue, let's just wait and see.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    The problem most teams have with this guy is that he disappears and nobody seems to understand why. I think he's a guy who needs to be with the right kind of personnel. If he's on the wrong team, with the wrong players surrounding him, he will be a waisted draft pick. If he's on the right team, right scheme, he's got all the talent in the world and he will be a defensive force.

    The thing that I like about this guy is that in the USC defensive scheme, which plays a fair amount of 3-4, is that he played NT and you really didn't hear a great deal about him but, all the USC LBs were very highly ranked. All of those LBs were flying around making plays all over the field. That means that the NT was keeping them clean and that's a very good thing in a 34. Tells me that this guy was playing solid and was not getting blown off the ball at the college level.
  11. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    I really think he's a 3-4 DE more than a 3-4 NT.

    He'd be a nice addition IMO, would definitely be an upgrade over Bowen and quite possibly an upgrade over Hatcher.

    They brought in Jarron Gilbert as well, so DE is definitely on the radar screen, and it makes sense to me considering Hatcher's lack of development, Bowen being jag and Spears in the last yr of his deal.
  12. SLATEmosphere

    SLATEmosphere Benched

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    Ya your right about him being a DE but for this year he could play some NT as well.
  13. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Now this is the kind of pick we need altho I'm not sold on this particular guy. That's only because unless you've seen them play it's really impossible to know many DL esp a 3-4 NT.

    But that pick or any on the LOS is really a need pick for the Dallas Cowboys IMO. And I mean the front seven on defense. Not a glamour pick but a necessary one.
  14. RESIN8

    RESIN8 New Member

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    I keep drafting him as a 3-4 DE.
  15. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

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    I definitely think that is where he will contribute in the short run, he is likely going to end up at NT when it is all said and done. He is still growing and still appears a bit lean, especially in the lower body. But he is strong and active, just doesn't have long speed.

    As much as I like Moala, I don't want to draft him, b/c he would have to be taken too high, 2nd or 3rd if fortune favors us. 3-4 DLs are not the playmakers (NTs being the exception) and can be found in lower rounds. There are tweeners w/just as much versatility or almost as much upside (not necessarily pedigree) later on the second day.

    Do not think taking 3-4 DEs on the first day or even at the top of the 2nd day to be good value for the position.

    But I would not complain if Dallas chose him, Moala is a quality player.

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