Take one look at the Chicago Bears defense and it’s pretty easy to see what the team likes at certain positions. When it comes to the defensive line, the parameters are fairly straightforward. They must be big, strong, and at least marginally quick for their size. Basically look at Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman. Those are the two profiles. So when evaluating prospects for the upcoming 2020 NFL draft, are there any that might fit the bill?
GM Ryan Pace and his scouts seem to think so. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Bears are one of the teams showing interest in defensive tackle Leki Fotu out of Utah. The kid is 6’5 and 335 lbs. A giant of a man who anchored the middle of one of the best defenses in the Pac-12 Conference last season. That would be quite an extra slab of beef to an already big front for this Chicago defense.
Fotu would be right at home with Chicago Bears defense
A lot of Pac-12 offensive linemen were interviewed in the past couple of months. Each was asked who the toughest defender was to block. More than a few of them kept bringing up Fotu’s name. So what exactly does he bring to the table? Joe Marino of The Draft Network describes where he’ll likely fit best.
“Utah defensive linemen Leki Fotu is a tank against the run that won’t be moved by a single blocker. He offers a powerful frame, long arms and a stout anchor that is engineered to two-gap in the NFL. With that said, Fotu offers very little as a pass rusher where he lacks the juice and flexibility to be a factor. His value on passing down comes as a bull rusher that can push the pocket but that’s it. For an odd-front team, Fotu has plenty of appeal but his limitations are notable.”
Fotu only had four sacks in his college career. So the stigma that he’s not much of a pass rusher is fair. It’s likely the Bears would view him as quality depth at nose tackle. Goldman just turned 26 in January. He’s in no danger of losing his job anytime soon. However, the depth chart behind him is practically barren. If he went down with an injury, it would be a heavy blow to the Bears run defense.
Grabbing Fotu in the draft would ease those concerns.