Cardinals Rookie Report Card: DT Leki Fotu

Name: Leki Fotu

Position: Defensive tackle

Drafted/college: Round 4, choose 114/University of Utah

Preseason estimate: “I’m wanting to adjust . . . from university, to now trying to transition that to your NFL. It does take some right time for it to come out. But, I know I have it in me.”

The debut: The 330-pound rookie with no gloves lined up on just four snaps in Week 1, an debut that is uneventful.

Buried in the level chart behind veterans Corey Peters and Jordan Phillips, he failed to play once more until Week 4, as he received 21 snaps and got their NFL that is first tackle.

Season progression:

Fotu’s role continued to increase after 4 week. Nonetheless, the true numbers did not reciprocate. In 128 snaps that are defensive Weeks 5-9, the rookie had one solamente tackle, four total tackles plus one quarterback rush.

“Defensive line play in this league takes some time as it’s such a such a hardcore and spot that is strong-man” defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said before Week 13. “Most young guys struggle early to play the double-team blocks.”

During 10, Fotu was placed on reserve/injured Nov. 14 for an ankle injury week. That kept him down for three games.

He came back for the last five games of this period, that was much required as Phillips and Peters played four snaps that are combined that stretch due to injuries.

Fotu’s progression was evident, as he was a more presence that is forceful front side.

He had three tackles for loss into the last five games, along side three quarterback hits and their very first NFL sack in Week 15 against Philadelphia.

“Leki into the final 2 or 3 months has played actually, good soccer,” Joseph stated after Week 15. “When those young dudes simply take those actions, it certainly makes us a much better protection.”

Simply placed, he had been into the backfield more frequently, a launching that is good to 2021.

With Peters becoming a agent that is free a starting spot could possibly be checking for somebody like Fotu to part of.

Season highlight:

Fotu just had one sack in their rookie 12 months, nonetheless it arrived at a moment that is crucial of season.

The Cardinal led the Eagles by seven with just over two minutes remaining, and Philadelphia marched to the Arizona line that is 11-yard.

Edge rusher Dennis Gardeck sacked quarterback Jalen Hurts on first down. On second down, Gardeck arrived across the side that is right, forcing Hurts to intensify.

Fotu swiped after dark guard and took Hurts down seriously to put up third-and-21. The following two performs had been incompletions.

Arizona held on for the victory to improve to 8-6.

Key stats:

11 tackles, four tackles for loss

One sack

Three quarterback hits, four hurries, seven pressures

• 26 per cent of protective snaps played

Final review:

Fotu failed to leave the gate swinging, but developed a great part by the conclusion of this period.

There is lots of development to be enjoyed, after he got swallowed up by dual groups and struggled to push after dark line regularly. But, for somebody who had no preseason or minicamps and managed damage, Fotu held his or her own into the last five months of the season.

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