2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Marist Liufau




  • Marist Liufau, 5-11/187
  • Linebacker
  • Notre Dame

Marist Liufau Scouting Report

By Charlie Campbell

Strengths:

  • Extremely fast
  • Dynamic sideline-to-sideline speed
  • Dangerous blitzer
  • Violent hitter
  • Strong build
  • Superb pursuit defender
  • Works through trash
  • Tremendous closing speed
  • Athletic
  • Could contribute in coverage on backs, tight ends, receivers
  • Covers a lot of ground in zone coverage
  • Can break down in space

Weaknesses:

  • Average instincts
  • Takes false steps in coverage
  • Overpursuit
  • Missed the 2021 season with injury
  • Doesn’t always read his keys as he should
  • Needs development
  • Streaky; inconsistent

Prospect Summary:

Notre Dame has had a number of tough front-seven defenders come into the NFL in recent years, and Liufau is a player who could end up being a better pro than college player. In 2022, Liufau started for the first time and recorded 51 tackles with an interception, .5 sacks, and a pass defended on the year. He then had a strong start to his senior season before going quiet down the stretch. He totaled 44 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in 2023.

For the NFL, Liufau is a seek-and-destroy linebacker. He is very fast and can flat out fly. He patrols sideline to sideline with his ability to cover a ton of ground. Liufau demonstrates easy speed to close on ball-carriers or receivers running into open territory. On top of his speed, Liufau is an agile athlete thatwhocan break down in space and get running backs to the ground. Beyond being fast, Liufau is very violent tackler who will regularly deliver a bone-ratting hit.

Liufau is at his best in run defense when he can use his speed to chase down ball-carriers. Liufau has average instincts that are moderately disappointing, and they are really the big issue that is holding him back from being special. His lack of instinctiveness can be seen with how slowly he reads his keys. As a pro, Liufau will really need to study and learn to improve his reaction time.

In pass coverage, Liufau has the speed and athletic ability to be a potential asset. He can run with backs, tight ends and wide receivers. However, he needs to improve his recognition because he will take false steps in coverage that put him in a tough spot of having to close separation. Liufau can cover a lot of ground in zone coverage in the middle of the field and has the ability to limit gains downfield.

What Liufau does best in the passing game is blitz. He is very fast off the edge, using his speed to dart by blockers. He is adept at generating pressure on the quarterback.

As a pro, Liufau’s best fit would come as a Sam – strongside – linebacker who does a lot of edge rushing. It would help Liufau if his pro team keeps things simple and utilizes him as a designated pass rusher. He could evolve into being a starting Sam linebacker who also is a backup Mike – middle – linebacker.

In the 2024 NFL Draft, Liufau has a chance at being selected on Day 2. He should not fall any lower than ending up as a mid-rounder.

Prospect Comparison:

Haason Reddick. Reddick was a bust with the Cardinals, but he invigorated his career with the Panthers when he was moved to being an edge rushing Sam – strongside – linebacker and edge rusher. Reddick (6-1, 240) and Liufau are almost identical in size while being fast and explosive.





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