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Prospect Primer: Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

Decorated defender has overcome neck injury and garnered impressive PFF marks

Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA
Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA has consulted more than two dozen mock drafts from reputable national outlets and compiled a list of players most frequently mocked as draft selections in the latter portion of the first round (picks 20-32) who could be available when the Packers are on the clock at No. 25 overall.

Between now and draft day, those players will be profiled with thumbnail sketches and videos known as "Prospect Primers."

Today's player is …

Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

Height/Weight: 6-5, 259

Key stats: Racked up 23½ sacks among 34 tackles for loss over the last two seasons, which included 12½ TFLs over his final six collegiate games.

College honors: Two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection who in 2023 was named the league's defensive player of the year, first-team AP All-American, Lombardi Award winner (best college OL/DL), and Ted Hendricks Award winner (best college DE).

Background/other info: Back in 2020, Latu's football career was seemingly over, as a neck injury prevented the University of Washington's medical staff from clearing him to play for two years. But following neck fusion surgery and a transfer to UCLA, became one of the best defensive prospects in this draft. His 23½ sacks in two seasons with the Bruins mark the most for a UCLA player since Anthony Barr had the same total in 2012-13, while his 21½ TFLs last season led the FBS. Received pass-rush grades from Pro Football Focus of 91.0 and 94.3 in those two years, one of only a dozen edge rushers with a 91-plus grade over the past decade. Also credited with a 27% pass-rush win rate, PFF's highest mark from a Power 5 edge rusher over the past decade. On top of all that, clocked a 4.64-second 40 at the combine at 259 pounds. Considered a mature, NFL-ready prospect, but teams will have medical questions related to the neck injury/surgery.


2024 Prospect Primers