Posted March 20, 2013

Star Lotulelei eases medical concerns with strong Pro Day

NFL Draft
Star Lotulelei could be back in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick. (Elaine Thompson, AP)

Star Lotulelei could be back in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick. (Elaine Thompson, AP)

Given the medical “all clear” to work out at his Pro Day Tuesday after concern over a potential heart condition held him out of the NFL combine, Star Lotulelei put on a show.

Lotulelei excelled in several drills — the numbers, from ESPN’s Joe Schad:

Former NFL player and current NFL Network analyst Akbar Gbajabiamila added via Twitter that Lotulelei “dominated position drills w/ multiple D-Line coaches.”

All of this means that, if Lotulelei does well in pre-draft interviews and checks out with individual team doctors, the Utah defensive tackle could re-cement himself as a probable top-10 pick … and might even hop into the mix at No. 1 overall.

The Chiefs, as everyone’s well aware, currently hold the top spot. While Eric Winston’s release and rumors of a possible Branden Albert trade seem to point toward an offensive tackle coming off the board there, Lotulelei could be a perfect fit for Kansas City’s 3-4, especially given his ability to line up at multiple spots.

Such talk was tabled coming out of the combine, after concerns arose during the 6-foot-3, 325-pounder’s medical exam. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported the left ventricle in Lotulelei’s heart was found be pumping at 44-percent efficiency, below the desired 55-to-70-percent window.

However, no further revelations about Lotulelei’s health came out after, until word Monday that he would be able to take part in a full Pro Day.

Lotulelei checked in at the No. 7 overall prospect on the Audibles Big Board 2.0, then slipped back to No. 14 on Big Board 3.0 after he was barred from combine participation. However, a healthy Lotulelei no doubt stands as one of the top prospects in this year’s draft and could be the premier interior defensive lineman available.

In his latest SI.com Mock Draft, Don Banks penciled in Lotulelei as the No. 11 pick to San Diego. “He’s going to carry a top-10 grade if he’s cleared medically,” Banks wrote.

That’s the general consensus regarding Lotulelei, and his Pro Day performance could send his stock skyward yet again.

2 comments
gary41
gary41

What is missing is the actual information about that prior echocardiogram exam and follow up data.  The final diagnosis did not say normal, but was couched in other non medical terms.  The impression is that the initial exam was abnormal and the follow up opinion was within some broad range of normal. 

Orange Crush
Orange Crush

Did anybody really think thast this sudden revelation that he has been diagnosed with a heart condition would prevent him from performing the same way he has been performing since before the diagnosis was made? I mean c'mon people...really!?