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What to watch for: 7 Utah college football stars descend on Indianapolis for 2013 NFL scouting combine

Published: Monday, Feb. 18 2013 5:58 p.m. MST

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Utah, Defensive tackle

6-foot-4, 320 pounds

The Lotulelei file: Lotulelei would have likely been a first-round pick if he left Utah following his junior year in 2011. Instead, he stayed for his senior season and did not hurt his draft status. The defensive tackle recorded 42 tackles, including 10 for loss, and five sacks in 2012; he was disruptive in several facets, with four fumble recoveries, three fumbles forced, four pass breakups and four pass deflections. In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Todd McShay still has Lotulelei going to Kansas City as the first pick of the 2013 NFL draft; most other prognosticators predict Lotulelei will be selected in the first five picks.

What Lotulelei needs to answer at the combine: At times, his passion for the game has been questioned. In a recent "Draft Tracker" podcast, former NFL scout Bucky Brooks said Lotulelei can be a dominant player when he wants to be, but he feels some teams may shy away because, in Brooks' opinion, Lotulelei takes some plays off. With an opportunity to impress, will Lotulelei's football passion shine through at the combine?

NFL.com prospect grade: 92, which equates to a first-round pick who's an immediate starter and a potential Pro Bowler.

When Lotulelei competes at the NFL combine: Defensive linemen will participate in the bench press Sunday, Feb. 24 and in on-field workouts Monday, Feb. 25.

NFL.com comparison: Haloti Ngata

Ngata, who played for Highland High School in Salt Lake City, was a defensive tackle prospect out of Oregon. He was taken by Baltimore with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft. Ngata has proved to be a force in the league from his nose tackle position, having been named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster each of the past five years. Ngata has 362 tackles and 22 sacks during the regular season in his career. With the Ravens' win two weeks ago in Super Bowl XLVII, he also now has a championship ring.

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AZ Ute
Scottsdale, AZ

Is is too late for Joe Kruger to change his mind? Need him next season.

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