Defensive tackle prospect Star Lotulelei's heart—and his NFL draft stock because of it—is going to be just fine.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune's Lya Wodraska, the big man received extremely positive news regarding his ticker after another round of medical tests:
Recent testing revealed Lotulelei has "no evidence of dysfunction," and that medical exams found his heart function performed "consistently with that of highly trained athletes," according to Dave Petron, Utah’s team physician.
Any concerns that arose from a February report that he was dealing with a heart condition that could seriously hinder his draft stock should now be eased.
That February report stated that Lotulelei had “a left ventricle that is pumping at 44 percent efficiency (versus a “normal range” of 55 to 70 percent),” and his stock quickly tumbled.
Before the news, Lotulelei was widely considered to be a top-five pick in the upcoming draft. Now, ESPN’s Todd McShay has him slotted at No. 11 (membership required), while CBS Sports’ analysts project him anywhere from No. 9 all the way down to No. 24.
Well, it now appears safe to bump this stud tackle prospect back up several picks.
According to Wodraska’s report, Lotulelei's successful tests likely mean that original scare was nothing more than a virus.
Moreover, Petron, the doctor who administered the test, added some more encouraging details, saying that Lotulelei was "the gold standard" for testing and that "there was no evidence of a dysfunction."
Essentially, it's all fancy speak for this: Lotulelei is perfectly healthy and there's nothing to suggest that he won't have a long, successful, unhindered athletic career.
As such (pending the "combine re-check" that he is expected to go through), pundits can stop focusing on his health and start focusing on the strength, versatility and unique agility that the 6'2", 311-pounder brings to the table.
With this news, don't be surprised if the former Utah stud's stock quickly returns to the level where it once stood.