Where Xavier Su’a-Filo Wins:
The first thing that jumps out to you about Su’a-Filo is his athleticism inside. He has a very good first step off the ball, and when he's asked to pass protect and get depth out of his stance, it's clear he is a very natural mover with quick feet.
He has the footwork to mirror defensive tackles inside and beat defensive ends to the edge to wash them out. His lateral agility is also very good, as he can move east or west with ease. He has rare balance and body control for the position, allowing him to move in space with defenders step for step.
Aside from athleticism in pass protection, Su’a-Filo also shows very impressive strength in all aspects of offensive line play. He shows the ability to anchor and absorb initial contact in pass protection, and the ability to re-anchor when he is forced to adjust.
He can also be an effective run blocker when his technique is right. He flashes phenomenal functional strength when he rolls through his hips, and can send defensive tackles flying off the ball on down blocks. He finds contact through his hands, drives his feets, and finishes blocks. He is a good option for pulling due to natural foot quickness, and he is an efficient blocker at the second level, showing the ability to locate linebackers and beat them at the point of attack.
Su’a-Filo also has good versatility for the position. He has the athleticism for left guard but has the power and anchor to survive at right guard as well. He also filled in multiple times at left tackle for UCLA in 2013, and while that isn't his ideal position, he could be a spot starter there. Those kinds of players are always valuable.
Where Su’a-Filo Needs To Improve:
Su’a-Filo contains obvious strength, but too many times he fails to land an effective initial punch, both when run blocking and pass protecting. Too many times he'll catch or lean into defenders instead of trying to get them off balance or into their chest. This isn't a physical issue though, and I believe it can be corrected.
Su’a-Filo also has a tendency to have too wide of a base when run blocking, leading to waist bending and leaning onto defenders, which of course isn't ideal. When he does this he's unable to get proper movement at the point of attack and many times stops his feet all together. Against stronger defensive linemen, this will lead to more tackles for a loss than it did at UCLA.
Su’a-Filo has a very special skill set for a guard. His combination of power, athleticism, and control are not come across often. His skill set really is the skill set of your prototypical guard in today's NFL. Most of his issues are correctable, and he still has a ways to go before he reaches his ceiling. For the Jaguars, he's a Day 1 starter at left guard.
Grade: 7.0- 1st Round