TE Joseph Fauria (UCLA) - UDFA
If you look at his size, athleticism and body of work at UCLA, you'd think that tight end Joseph Fauria was drafted last month. He wasn't, though, and he ended up joining the Detroit Lions after being one of their top undrafted free agent targets.
Fauria began his college career at Notre Dame in 2008. A year later, in 2009, he transferred to UCLA.
What the experts are saying
The nephew of 13-year NFL tight end Christian Fauria transferred from Notre Dame back home to southern California three years ago, but finally flashed the top-100 talent everyone knew he possessed in 2011 (39 catches, 481 yards, six touchdowns) by using his height, length and unexpected foot quickness to make plays around and over the top of defenders. He further demonstrated these qualities in 2012 en route to 12 receiving touchdowns. Fauria is an impressive red-zone threat due to his height and ability to box defenders out, but he is fairly unimpressive after the catch in the middle of the field. He also has more than his fair share of struggles as a run blocker.
Joseph Fauria is not being mentioned in the same breath as some of the top TEs in this draft class, but he clearly has the tools to become a productive NFL player. While not an explosive or elusive athlete, he does display solid short area quickness and smooth, savvy route running ability, which allows him to gain separation on his breaks. Once the ball is in the air he is a nightmare for LBs and DBs to match up with, as he high-points the ball and uses his huge frame and catching radius to consistently win contested balls. He clearly has the flexibility and strength to be an effective blocker, but must be more consistent with his level of competitiveness.
Tall TE prospect with lean frame. Possesses long arms (33 ¾') and very big hands (10 7/8'). Has average top-end speed on tape. At pro day (3-17); ran the 40 in 4.75 seconds, had a 35 ½' vertical jump and a 10' broad jump.
2010: 3 catches, 21 yards, 2 TD
2011: 39 catches, 481 yards, 6 TD
2012: 46 catches, 637 yards, 12 TD
- Various Fauria highlights
- Fauria reception vs. USC
- Fauria TD reception vs. San Jose State
- UCLA feature on Fauria
- 10 questions with Fauria (9/14)
- 10 questions with Fauria (11/15)
- FOX Sports interview with Fauria
Outlook for 2013
Of all the undrafted free agents, Fauria seems to have the best chance of actually making the 53-man roster. The tight end position isn't exactly settled, as there is a spot open behind Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. The thinking is that Michael Williams will fill the third tight end spot, but he is more of a blocker. Fauria is more of a pass catcher, and his ability to be a matchup problem for opposing defenses could result in him making the team.
Because of his great size and production at UCLA last season, Fauria seems like a real threat to make the team either as the Lions' fourth tight end or by pushing Scheffler off the roster. At the very least, he has a great case to make the practice squad even if he doesn't make the 53-man roster.