Tommy Togiai, Ohio State
The Cowboys have now needed a consistent 1-technique defensive tackle for quite some time. For so long under former defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, there was greater importance on undersized tackles who could rush the passer while linebackers had greater responsibility to stop the run.
Enter Tommy Togiai. The Pocatello, Idaho native is a bit undersized compared to other 1-technique defensive tackles, but he makes up for it with great play strength and good competitive toughness. Togiai displays solid athletic ability to leverage gaps and with his good play strength, solid agility, and good use of hands that allow him to stay square with his blocker on power and zone runs. He displays good upfield burst that allows him to blow up gaps along with his good pad level.
For his proficiencies as a run defender, the Buckeye is quite limited as a pass rusher. He currently relies on his solid foot speed and agility to win with speed. With his solid pad level and good play, strength can work. However, his lack of power and counter moves don’t stress interior linemen out of their pass sets leaving him unable to work around them.
The team currently has Trysten Hill and Brent Urban as their primary pass-rushing threats on the inside. Both players would need to develop into something bigger than they are right now. However, both could be aided by Togiai’s ability to take on double teams and just be the strong man inside allowing the other to take advantage of athletic mismatches. This could allow the explosive Hill or speedy Neville Gallimore to use their explosiveness to penetrate into the backfield.