Laiatu Latu
Laiatu Latu  DL  UCLA | NFL Draft 2024 Souting Report - Portrait Image
Laiatu Latu
Height
6-4
Weight
261
College
UCLA
Position
DL/EDGE
Class
Senior
Home town
Sacramento, CA
90.8/100
Player Rating
1
PositionRank (DL)
4.7
FortyYD Time
Sacks
13
Fumbles Forced
2
Tackles
49
Sol tackles
28
Laiatu Latu Prospect Overview
Oct 7, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Washington State Cougars running back Nakia Watson (25) is brought down by UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Carl Jones Jr. (4) and defensive lineman Laiatu Latu (15) during the second half at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Laiatu Latu DL/EDGE UCLA | NFL Draft Profile & Scouting Report

Laiatu Latu DL/EDGE UCLA
NFL Draft Profile & Scouting Report

SUB-POSITION: EDGE RUSHER
Last Updated: 01/22/2024
Draft Year: 2024
40 time: 4.70 seconds (89%*)
Bowl Invite: Senior Bowl
Measurables:
Height: 6-4 (62%*) Weight: 261 (16%*)
Hands: 9 3/8 (26%*) Arm: 32 4/8 (33%*) Span: 79 2/8 (38%*)
Forty: 4.70 (O) (89%*) Shuttle: 4.16 (HS) (86%*)
Vertical: 27 (HS) (1%*)
0% 100%
(C) - NFL Combine (P) - Pro Day (O) - Other (HS) -Estimated from High School Combine
For an explanation of how the (HS) data is calculated see this article
SHARE THIS PROFILE:
SUB-POSITION: EDGE RUSHER
Last Updated: 01/22/2024
Draft Year: 2024
40 time: 4.70 seconds (89%*)
Bowl Invite: Senior Bowl
Measurables:
0% 100%
Height: 6-4 (62%*) Weight: 261 (16%*)
Hands: 9 3/8 (26%*) Arm: 32 4/8 (33%*)
Span: 79 2/8 (38%*)
Forty: 4.70 (O) (89%*) Shuttle: 4.16 (HS) (86%*)
Vertical: 27 (HS) (1%*)
(C) - NFL Combine (P) - Pro Day (O) - Other
(HS) -Estimated from High School Combine
For an explanation of how the (HS) data is calculated see this article
SHARE THIS PROFILE:
Overall Rating: 90.8 / 100
Average rating of opposition Offense player has faced
Offense Rating:
76%
Click the links below to view how player ranks vs other prospects.
Tackling:
58%
Pass Rush:
98%
Run Defense:
83%
DRAFT PROJECTION: 1st - Top 10
Overall Rank: #7 Position rank: #1
College Games: 36 College Snaps: 1196
Grade: 4 ESPN  Stars 4 ESPN  Stars ESPN RATING: 81/100
College Combine Results
Grade: 247 Sports 4  Stars 247 Sports 95 Stars 247 RATING: 95/100
Grade: 4 Stars 4 Stars RIVALS RATING: 5.9 (97%)
Player Comparison* (Similarity level)
Lukas Van Ness - Iowa
70%
Keion White - Georgia Tech
63%
Isaiah McGuire - Missouri
61%
Draft Profile: Bio
Laiatu Latu emerged as a top-tier defensive prospect from Jesuit High School, earning a 4-star rating from ESPN and 247 Sports. His collegiate journey began at the University of Washington, where as a freshman he played in 12 games, tallying 10 tackles, 4 assists, and 7 stops, alongside 5 quarterback hurries and 2 sacks.

After a neck injury in 2020 and a brief medical retirement, Latu transferred to UCLA. Cleared to play, he returned to the field with a dominant sophomore season. In 2022, he took part in 446 snaps across 12 games, amassing 20 tackles, 3 assists, 23 stops, 52 total pressures, and 11 sacks, underscoring his capability as an edge rusher.

Latu's performance earned him first-team All-Pac-12 honors and the College Football Comeback Player of the Year award. His season highlights included leading UCLA with 12.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks, earning the Pac-12 Player of the Week after a standout game against Colorado.
Honors & awards
  • 2023 Lombardi Award
  • 2023 Ted Hendricks Award
Scouting Report: Strengths
  • Boasts a robust frame with the requisite length and athleticism needed for an edge role, employing both two-point and three-point stances effectively.
  • Exhibits impressive initial burst off the line, utilizing his quickness to gain the edge combined with power to unbalance tackles.
  • Demonstrates lateral agility and an elusive nature, making it challenging for offensive linemen to engage and maintain blocks.
  • Utilizes a diverse set of rush moves with advanced hand techniques, allowing him to disengage and navigate past blockers consistently.
  • Shows commendable body control at the rush apex, adeptly redirecting to quarterbacks who step up in the pocket.
  • Creates mismatches inside against guards on passing downs with his quickness and relentless pursuit of the quarterback.
  • Though more suited to zone, he can drop into coverage, displaying good instincts; however, may be limited in man coverage due to change-of-direction constraints.
  • Instinctive playmaker with a persistent motor, frequently forcing turnovers and disrupting offensive momentum.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
  • Displays just adequate athleticism relative to NFL standards for edge rushers, which may limit his ceiling at the professional level.
  • Arm length is average, potentially hindering his ability to keep blockers at bay and control engagements on the edge.
  • Run defense occasionally suffers from lapses in awareness, requiring refinement in diagnosing and reacting to run plays.
  • Struggles to disengage from blockers in the run game, a skill that needs development to contend with NFL-caliber offensive linemen.
  • Medical history poses a significant risk, introducing a variable that could impact his draft stock and durability concerns.
Scouting Report: Summary
Laiatu Latu's trajectory is on the rise, as he's quickly becoming one of the most dominating pass rushers in college football in 2023. With his robust skill set and an uncanny ability to get to the quarterback, Latu is making a case for himself as a disruptive force on the defensive line. His performance this season is solidifying his reputation, and if he maintains this level of play, there's a strong possibility he could ascend into a top-10 selection in the draft.

The primary concerns casting a shadow over Latu's draft stock are not about his talent but rather his medical history and physical attributes, which, while adequate, are not at the pinnacle of what the NFL typically covets in a first-round edge defender. Yet, his instincts and motor on the field are so potent that they demand attention; they could very well offset concerns about his athleticism and medical past.

Latu's fit as an odd-front edge rusher makes him particularly attractive to NFL teams running such schemes. His impact is felt immediately on passing downs, and as he continues to refine his approach against the run, his three-down value increases. For teams prioritizing pass rush, Latu's presence on the field could be transformational.

As the season progresses, all signs point to Latu's draft momentum only gaining speed. His continued evolution as a pass rusher, coupled with his natural talent and on-field production, positions him to potentially hear his name among the top 10 picks. It's a storyline that will captivate the draft community and one that could very well culminate in a high first-round selection, provided he can maintain his current level of dominance.

Laiatu Latu percentiles vs other Defensive Linemen (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)

How other scouting services rate Laiatu Latu (Overall Rank)

All Scouts AverageOverall Rank
16.7
All Scouts AveragePosition Rank
2.0
*Percentile Ranking in Player's Position Group (NFL Combine Historical Data): This percentile reflects how a player's specific statistics rank in comparison to historical performances at the NFL Combine, specifically within their position group. A higher percentile indicates a better performance. For instance, being in the 90th percentile for a particular stat means the player outperformed 90% of their peers in that category.

*Similarity Percentage: This percentage is calculated based on a comprehensive analysis of various factors, including height, weight, 40-yard dash times, on-field performance statistics, and overall player rating. The analysis is conducted against our database of draft prospects from 2021 to 2023. This similarity score helps in evaluating how closely a current prospect aligns with past prospects. It is important to note, however, that this score reflects similarities based on college production and attributes, and does not account for eventual success or performance in the NFL.