The Jacksonville Jaguars started day three of the 2021 NFL draft by using the 106th overall pick to select Jay Tufele, a defensive tackle out of the University of Southern California.
This is a very good pick that fills one of the team’s biggest need and is very good value in the fourth round. This is another player that opted out of the 2020 season due to the personal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but started both years prior as a redshirt freshman and sophomore.
At 6-foot-3-inches and 305 pounds, Tufele is a big, space-taking defensive tackle who is very stout against the run. It’s obvious that the Jaguars are taking stopping the run seriously, not only by selecting Tufele, but from the trade for Malcolm Brown from the New Orleans Saints and signing free agents such as Jihad Ward.
Tufele impressed as a freshman with 23 tackles (14 solo) and three sacks. His sophomore numbers were even better, registering 42 tackles (22 solo) and 4.5 sacks.
DT Jay Tufele will fit in well with the Jaguars
He has above average foot speed for an interior defensive lineman, great extension on blocks and he finishes tackles. He gets low for leverage in short-yardage situations, but has a quick swim move that is his go-to move for rushing the passer. He has a high motor and gives high effort on every play.
He plays best as a three technique defensive tackle lining up inside the offensive tackle. He had a round two grade from several draft sites but his opt-out likely affected his draft stock, making his fourth-round selection a good value pick.
Tufele’s quick off the ball, tough, and aggressive. He plays with great pad level and gets good leverage against opponents. He displays a tremendous work ethic and commitment to development, demonstrated by his dedication to improving his strength and conditions in the weight room. His hard work was rewarded when he was selected into the All-PAC-12 First Team as a redshirt sophomore.
He has very good athleticism with outstanding body quickness at the snap, and commands a double team due to his ability to disrupt the protection. Tufele fits well into the Jaguars scheme.