The athletic testing gets all the attention at the NFL Scouting Combine. How fast does everybody run? How many reps of the bench press can they perform? How high and/or far can they jump? What’s their three-cone time? Everybody wants to know.
Of course, we all know that the interviews and the body measurements can be just as important. Teams have specific benchmarks they want players to hit at certain positions.
On Friday, the offensive tackles got their body measurements done. And something extremely interesting happened. Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele measured 6-foot-8 and weighed in at 384 pounds. According to ESPN.com, that makes him the heaviest player at the combine since 1999, when former Wisconsin tackle Aaron Gibson weighed in at 386 pounds.
Faalele said on Thursday that he actually weighed 426 pounds when he first arrived at Minnesota back in 2018. He also said he’d like to get down to 375 by the time he gets to an NFL training camp. The former rugby and basketball player noted that Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata, who is of similar size and weight (6-foot-8 and 365 pounds) and background (he also played rugby) to Faalele, has had success in the NFL, and that makes him feel like he can do so as well. He met Mailata last month, and the pair hit it off.
“It was cool. It’s like I’ve known him forever,” Faalele said. “He gave me his number, just a great friend and mentor.”
Faalele started 31 games at right tackle for Minnesota, and is considered a possible Day 2 selection. He’s the No. 38 player in the CBS Sports prospect rankings, though he checks in a bit lower at places like The Athletic (No. 52), ESPN (No. 53) and Pro Football Focus (No. 83). Still, he’s pegged by most as a second- or third-round pick. Mailata was taken in the seventh round a few years back, helping pave the way for Faalele to potentially go even higher.