2025 NFL Draft first impression: J.T. Tuimoloau, EDGE, Ohio State

Ohio State EDGE J.T. Tuimoloau is regarded as one of the top pass-rushing prospects for the 2025 NFL Draft as the 2024 college season approaches. His return to the Buckeyes after being considered a top-50 type of prospect in the 2024 draft is a solid starting point for the intriguing Tuimoloau.

In the seven Ohio State games I studied to get a handle on Tuimoloau, I saw an impressive power-to-speed rusher with a nice, low burst off the snap. There is some nice lower-body power and leg drive that allows him to stun a blocker who gets too tall in his stance. Witness his feature game…

Tuimoloau definitely made a huge impression against Penn State back in 2022. He dominated future first-round offensive tackle Olu Fashanu, exposing Fashanu’s lack of instincts and too-tall recovery technique. As bad as Tuimoloau made Fashanu look, he destroyed all other Nittany Lions even more.

The 2023 rematch also went in Tuimoloau’s favor, and it showcased his ability to attack from multiple alignments and angles. Left or right, standing up or stacked tight and low, he’s capable of getting into the pads of the blocker and establishing the initial advantage very well.

Yet when Tuimoloau squared off against 2024 first-rounder Joe Alt and Notre Dame, he had exactly one win on the day. His high hand placement and lack of secondary hand usage after the initial contact made Tuimoloau a little too easy for Alt to completely negate as a pass rusher. In that same game, when No. 44 tried the other side, he did find some success by winning easier with an initial burst and bull-rushing drive.

Another asset to his game that stood out is Tuimoloau’s ball awareness. He’s very good at recognizing where the ball is and where it’s going. There is some comfort in his ability to sniff out a backside cut or a screen coming his way. Above-average power behind his pads and good wrap technique make Tuimoloau a plus tackler, too.

Continued development of his hand usage after initial contact and more countermoves to get off a block would be the biggest step Tuimoloau can take in 2024 to ensure he’s a high pick in 2025. Right now, he’s a promising power-type player with upside but some frustrating traits that would have kept him in the third- or fourth-round grade range had he come out in 2024.

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire