Draft Review: Haloti Ngata
Ngata is a first-time eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame
GOSSELIN DRAFT ANALYSIS: Haloti Ngata was a Parade All-America at Salt Lake City Highland High School after collecting 30 sacks in his senior season. He became a three-year starter at Oregon before deciding to skip his senior season to enter the 2006 NFL draft. Ngata won the Morris Trophy in 2005 as the top defensive lineman in the Pac 10 and also became the school’s first consensus All-America in four decades (since Mel Renfro in 1962). He posted 10 career sacks and also blocked seven kicks – three field goals, three extra points and a punt. He set a school record with a 505-pound bench press and then threw the bar up 37 times (225 pounds) at the NFL scouting combine. Ngata measured 6-4, 338 pounds at the combine. Gosselin rated him as the second-best tackle in the 2006 draft and placed him No. 12 in his Top 100. The Baltimore Ravens drafted Ngata with the 12th overall pick of the draft.
Here’s what 15 NFL talent evaluators said about Ngata leading up to his draft:
Scout: Has all the talent in the world but he should play lighter. It affects his movement and ability to perform. He doesn’t put together back-to-back plays. What they ask him to do and what he does are two different things and it’s made him look bad. They ask him to do what a short, quick guy does — not what a power guy does. They ask him to be the second guy around in the pass rush. That plays to his weakness too much. In practice no one can block him but he can disappear in the scheme in games. He’s 338 pounds – just pick up the guard, drive him back to the quarterback and disrupt the pocket.
Scout II: A powerful, powerful man. Top 15. Best DT for a 4-3 scheme.
Scout III: No. 3 DT in this draft.
Personnel director: Best 2-gap DT in the draft.
Personnel director II: He’ll go in the Top 15 but I don’t like. Always going to have weight and endurance issues. Same guy as Junior Siavii (Oregon teammate, second round pick in 2004).
Personnel director III: Those big guys tend to wear down. But everyone wants a run stopper. Holds the point of attack but not dramatic.
Personnel director IV: Top DT in this draft. Top 15 pick.
Personnel director V: Top 10 pick. He’s a bitch.
Defensive line coach: Doesn’t play hard.
Defensive coordinator: Third round. Not as quick as Siavii. Stinks.
Defensive coordinator II: Impressive-looking guy. He’s a man.
Defensive coordinator III: No. 1 DT in this draft.
Defensive coordinator IV: Top 15. Has more pass rush skills than (Brodrick) Bunkley.
Head coach: A 4-3 tackle that could protect a Ray Lewis.
General manager: Scares me. Could be the best player in this draft or a bust.
General manager II: Bigger and more powerful than Bunkley but doesn’t show up on tape. I asked him for his best game and he said the first half against USC. He was awful. I told him he was loafing and he said, “Yep, I was.” I asked him why and he said he was tired.
General manager III: Top DT in this draft but too inconsistent.
General manager IV: A Belichick-type defensive tackle.
HALL OF FAME RESUME: Ngata became a walk-in starter for the Ravens and wound up starting 174 games over a 13-year career. He lined up at a different position in each of his first four seasons – right tackle in a 4-3 in 2006, right end in 2007, nose tackle in 2008 and left end in 2009. He started at five different positions in his career – left end (70 games), right tackle (48), nose tackle (31). Right end (16) and left tackle (9). Ngata went to five consecutive Pro Bowls from 2009-13 and was a two-time first-team all-pro in 2010-11. The Ravens led the NFL in defense in Ngata’s rookie season and finished in the Top 10 in seven of his nine seasons in Baltimore. Ngata picked up a Super Bowl ring in 2012 with the Ravens. He spent the final four years of his career in Detroit with the Lions and retired with 32 ½ career sacks. This is his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.