Although UNLV’s Pro Day is still a few days away on March 28th, the Detroit Lions have scheduled a visit with one of their defensive draft prospects. Bob Quinn and his coaching staff have been all over the place this draft season and in several instances have met with prospects before even seeing their workout. The night before is a little less notable than a few weeks prior and Jeremiah Valoaga isn’t exactly a household name or highly touted draft prospect. So what gives?
My first bit of research on Jeremiah Valoaga had nothing to do with his play, but the time he spent away from the UNLV squad. Due to academic concerns, Valoaga missed the entire 2014 season and then only played six games in 2015 due to a fractured ankle. He would register only 2.5 sacks during that season, but coaches raved about his preparation and motivation coming into 2016. Finally, Valoaga was dismissed from UNLV near the end of the 2016 season for a violation of team rules. It’s rare that a player who didn’t complete a single college season lands himself a team visit, but that is exactly the case here with the Detroit Lions.
He would finish 2016 with only 4.0 sacks and a single forced fumble, but at 6-foot-6 and around 255 pounds, Valoaga has the size and length that Teryl Austin has coveted for his defensive linemen. While we do not presently have measurements for him, since he was not a combine invitee and his Pro Day is still a ways away, we do not know how athletic he is relative to his position group. Still, it is his athleticism that coaches and scouts point to when discussing his potential.