Although Xavier Su'a-Filo isn't flashy as De'Anthony Thomas or Dri Archer (shamless plug... I know), the offensive lineman is capable of having just as great of an impact in the NFL, something us Chiefs fans are well aware of. Here is some background history about the guard prospect. He started at LT for UCLA in 2009 as a rookie, started 13 games, the most starts by any non-kicker/punter true freshman. Su'a-Filo then went on a 2-year Mormon Mission to Florida and Alabama, making a very impressive return in 2012 as a LG, guiding Johnathan Franklin to UCLA school records for most career and single season rushing yards. A point of concern is his weight room strength; it may have been addressed coming into this year, but here is a telling quote.
As a result, he's caught less flak from his teammates, too.
"There's a lot of strong guys on our offensive line," Su'a-Filo said. "They've noticed I've gotten stronger in the weight room so they don't give me so much of a hard time.
"(Last year), they just didn't understand how I could play and move out here, but in the weight room, they're like `C'mon, man.' "
Here are some words from Head Coach Jim Mora and the Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone:
"He's special," Mora said. "He was voted last year as a captain. He'll be a captain again. And to think he was voted a captain after not being around for two years. A lot of these guys didn't know him. That's the kind of impact he can make immediately."
"Without question, he's one of the top two or three guards in the country," said UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. "He's at that level. He would play for any team in the country. No doubt. If I had four more like him, I'd be on a golf course right now."
Xavier Su'a-Filo OG, UCLA, Junior, Height: 6'3", Weight: 310
Very impressive games in 2012 vs USC and Stanford:
Xavier Su'a Filo vs USC (2012) (via DCheeseB)
Xavier Su'a Filo vs Stanford (2012 PAC 12 Championship) (via DCheeseB)
The first thing I noticed was the mass and strength of his lower body. Su'a-Filo takes up a lot of space with his wide frame and is so fluid and adept at pulling around the line to block and getting up the field to block. He also has very nice hand technique and his natural bend allows him to redirect the momentum of the pass rush. He is agile, aggressive, and very rarely loses the point of attack. He was equally impressive vs Nebraska this season in both run blocking and pass protection, I'm sure he was dominant vs Nevada and NM St. as well. You can see why Johnathan Franklin and now Jordan James (62 carries, 424 yards) have had so much success at UCLA. Assuming the Chiefs are picking late in the first round, there may be a chance that he will still be on the board. Not a very good one but there's always a chance... right?
Now this doesn't mean Jeff Allen isn't a capable starting guard, but Su'a-Filo would be a huge upgrade and may be too talented to pass up. Perhaps KC doesn't get a deal done with Branden Albert, but it sure seems like it should be a definite priority for the Chiefs in the upcoming offseason. Albert, Su'a-Filo, Hudson, Asamoah, Fisher, I like the sound of that (Fisher in his 2nd year... give him some time). I can already hear Mike Mayock now... What do you guys think about him? Could he drop to the second half of the first round? Is this even a pick the Chiefs should make?