The last draft pick of the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft features the first Stanford Cardinal player taken. Sione Fua was widely sought after because he plays at a position that generally translates well toward the pros, the 3-4 nose tackle. While Fua doesn’t have the size to play that position at the next level, defensive tackle might be the place for him, and the Carolina Panthers are willing to take their chances.
Fua was solid in Stanford’s 3-4 system as he shifted over from the defensive tackle position. While it wasn’t a particularly great year for Pac-10 offensive lines, Fua made things difficult for a lot of teams inside, and made it easier for the Cardinal to stop the run and force quarterbacks to throw the ball a lot more than they would’ve been comfortable with.
Interesting nugget—Carolina received this pick after losing Julius Peppers. So it’s a fairly apt trade: A defensive lineman for a defensive lineman, eh?
Panthers fans, what do you think of the pick? Let us know in the comments!