The Washington Redskins have reportedly signed Hawaii nose tackle Vaughn Meatoga, according to Hawaiinewsnow.com. He was left undrafted, but has the size and tenacity to compete for playing time at the most important position on the Redskins' 3-4 defense.
Meatoga is a studious lineman who possesses tremendous balance and leverage. He uses his hands well and is aggressive enough to hold up at the point of attack and violently shed blockers.
At only 294 pounds, he is maybe a little too small for the modern prototype NFL nose tackle position. However, his ability to be active inside and use his initial quickness to shift along the line and create pressure, can be assets to the Redskins.
Some 3-4 schemes have benefited from a smaller player on the nose, and in some ways Meatoga can be compared to former NFL pro Jason Ferguson. Drafted in the seventh round of the 1997 draft by Bill Parcells, Ferguson enjoyed a highly productive career anchoring 3-4 defenses for the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.
Meatoga joins cornerback Chase Minnifield as the second marquee rookie free agent signed by the Redskins. Both additions are smart moves, adding depth and potential at key positions.
Meatoga will be given the opportunity to compete with 2011 seventh-rounder Chris Neild for playing time in a rotation with veteran Barry Cofield.