Washington football has a long history of developing big, athletic defensive tackles, and Taimani looks ready to break out during his third year on campus
Danny Shelton and Vita Vea were both taken with the 12th overall pick in their respective drafts, and they were just the beginning for Washington football. Taki Taimani is next in line. Next to his running mate, Tuli Letuligasenoa, “The Twins” as they’re known by their teammates, are going to wreak havoc during the 2020 season.
The Huskies are returning a lot along the defensive line, with seniors Levi Onwuzurike and Josiah Bronson each using their final year of eligibility, to go along with The Twins, and the four highly touted redshirt freshmen from the 2019 recruiting class, Faatui Tuitele, Jacob Bandes, Sama Paama, and Noa Ngalu.
Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski will probably end up rotating his uber-talented defensive tackles like hockey lines to make sure everyone gets snaps, and stays fresh as well. This is going to work wonders for everyone along the line, especially Taimani, who’s probably in line to take over one of the starting DT slots in 2021 when Onwuzurike and Bronson are both gone.
That uptick in snaps should (obviously) translate into an uptick in production, as the 321 pound Taimani has incredible footwork, and at his size with his natural power and unnatural quickness, should help him burst onto the national scene.
Unless your name is Aaron Donald, you probably can’t take on an entire offensive line by yourself. And Taimani is going to have a lot of help on the edge, as well as in the middle. We already talked about his running mates at defensive tackle, and with Laiatu Latu, Ryan Bowman, Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Joe Tryon, and Sav’ell Smalls coming off the edge, Taimani is going to give them a lot of opportunities in one on one matchups to hit home.
Stats won’t always tell the full story for a game wrecker at defensive tackle, and with the consistent double-teams Taimani draws due to his size and quickness, he’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for his supporting cast, and in the moments where he sees one on one opportunities with a guard or center, he’ll feast on them.