Expert Analysis


4 min read

Laiatu Latu 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Indianapolis Colts EDGE

Laiatu Latu lays out for a tackle
Washington State Cougars running back Nakia Watson (25) is brought down by UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Carl Jones Jr. (4) and defensive lineman Laiatu Latu (15) during the second half at Rose Bowl. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on Laiatu Latu.

Laiatu Latu's 2024 NFL Combine Results

  • Height: 6'5"
  • Weight: 259 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.64 seconds
  • 10-yard split: 1.62 seconds
  • Vertical jump: Did Not Participate (DNP)
  • Broad jump: DNP

Laiatu Latu 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report


  • Outstanding length and frame for an edge rusher with natural twitch and suddenness to his movement. Explosive.
  • Phenomenal quickness off the ball as pass rusher both outside and inside. Beats offensive linemen with sudden lateral twitch.
  • Uses featured club arm-over move as wide-9 rusher to beat offensive tackles inside. Has balance to change direction and redirect.
  • Flashes effective inside spin move off initial high side challenge. Has excellent balance, body control and burst.
  • Does a good job as an edge pass rusher initiating and playing off contact with effective hand usage. Has multiple moves.
  • Subtle hand usage is a foundation of his edge rush, along with lateral quickness to change direction and redirect.
  • Uses quick, violent hands to break down offensive tackle technique then play off contact to win on the high side with burst to the quarterback.
  • Body flexibility as an edge pass rusher allows him to bend the arc then flatten his rush path and close with speed to the quarterback.
  • In 2023, always seemed to have a plan as an edge pass rusher, which was evident in the way in which he used his hands.
  • Is a twitchy, sudden mover with both feet and hands and showed explosive power in his hands to displace offensive linemen.
  • Effective inside at defensive tackle in sub-fronts working against an offensive guard. Showed ability to win with both quickness and strength.
  • Has active hands in run game to defeat blocks with both quickness and power, staying on-balance to make plays.
  • Arm extension in the run game both controls the offensive line and keep his feet clean to defeat blocks and make plays.
  • Plays with heavy hands to jar and control offensive linemen off the snap. Created movement at line of scrimmage. Has a strong feel to his game.


  • There were run game snaps where he could have played stronger taking on and displacing blocks — he got locked on.
  • It’s not truly a weakness, but the medicals will be closely evaluated. (He was medically retired at Washington.)

NFL Transition

Latu is one of the best overall prospects in the 2024 draft class. You could easily make the argument that he's the best edge pass-rush prospect in the class.

He possesses excellent size and length to play on the edge, and his pass-rush-traits profile is high level for a college player. He has a desirable combination of athleticism, explosiveness and advanced/refined hand usage with multiple moves in his arsenal.

One trait Latu possesses at a high level is a motorcycle lean at the top of the pass rush arc with the body flexibility to not only bend the edge but then flatten his path rush — while at the same time accelerating off his inside leg to close with burst and speed to the quarterback. What also stands out with Latu is his relentless competitiveness and his high-energy motor, which often resulted in him driving through chip blocks and offensive tackles to get pressure on the quarterback.

Latu is a high-level athlete with a natural feel and with instincts as a pass rusher — in addition to having a deep pass-rush toolbox that features outstanding hand usage. The bottom line is his tape shows he has the most complete pass-rush arsenal in the draft class. When you combine that with excellent athleticism and flexibility, you have a strong pass-rush profile.

In many ways, he reminds of T.J. Watt re: athleticism and pass rush technique and of Danielle Hunter re: fluid movement, flexibility and overall athleticism. I think Latu is one of the top-seven prospects in the draft class.

Other Notes

Latu played two years at UCLA after transferring from Washington. He played in 12 games as a freshman at Washington but suffered a neck injury during fall practices entering his sophomore season and didn't play football in 2020 and 2021. In his two seasons at UCLA, Latu produced 23.5 quarterback sacks and 34 tackles for loss. In 2023, he won the Lombardi Award and the Ted Hendricks Award.

In 2022, Latu predominantly lined up on the edge, but there were also significant snaps in sub fronts inside at 3-technique and 4i and even some snaps at 1-technique. In 2023, Latu again predominantly lined up on the edge, but there were also snaps inside at 3-technique and 4i in both the base and sub fronts. There were snaps in which he dropped out into underneath zone coverage, too.