- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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In each of the 10 weekdays leading up to the NFL draft, ESPNBoston.com will identify one player who projects as a solid fit for the Patriots at various points of the draft. Read all of the profiles.
Player: Tyson Alualu
Position: Defensive line
Listed height/weight: 6-foot-2 3/8, 295 pounds
Scouts Inc. rank: No. 6 at position (scouting report)
Draft projection: Late first round/early second round
Why he’s on our list: Alualu has played a variety of positions along the line, offering the type of versatility the Patriots generally value. The Patriots have a need at defensive end and Alualu has played the position on a three-man line at California. He is tough and durable. The Patriots hosted him on one of their 30 pre-draft visits at Gillette Stadium.
Recommended link: Alualu discussed his football journey, and his recent visit to the Patriots, with ESPNBoston.com.
Key stat: Never missed a game in college, playing 51 contests with 39 starts.
Workout stat: Had a 35-inch vertical jump at the combine, and better shuttle times than any defensive tackle at the combine.
Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: “Alualu is a three-year starter who has experience lining up at defensive tackle in a base four-man front and at 5-technique in a base three-man front. His best trait, and it jumps out on film, is his hand speed. Alualu’s hands are almost always moving and he has the explosive power to shed blocks when offensive linemen try to lock on. However, I don’t think he’s a great fit for New England. His best fit is at defensive tackle in a base 4-3 scheme because he doesn’t have great height (6-foot-2 3/8) for a 3-4 defensive end prospects. That said, he has the tools to provide quality depth as a rookie and develop into a starter early on in his career at defensive tackle.”