Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Gil Brandt of NFL.com gave former UCLA offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo some high praise before the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine:
This year, the player who I believe will make the biggest jump is UCLA OG Xavier Su'a-Filo.
Su'a-Filo has an interesting backstory, having served a two-year Mormon mission that split up his college career. He started 13 games at left tackle for the Bruins as a freshman in 2009 (becoming the first UCLA player ever to start from Day 1), was gone for the next two years on the mission in Florida and Alabama, then returned to become UCLA's full-time starter at left guard. He gave up his final year of college eligibility to enter the draft.
Su'a-Filo, who is scheduled to work out with Group 2 on Friday, will have an opportunity at the combine to show off his athleticism and speed, which should be enough to land him in the first round of the draft. Right now, most teams have assigned him a second-day grade, but he'll move up.
Su'a-Filo didn't disappoint. He weighed in at 6'4" and 307 pounds and was able to run an official 5.04 40-yard dash. He had a decent 7.60 three-cone time, and his 4.44-second performance in the short shuttle placed him near the top of the list of offensive linemen who had performed the same drill.
If the New England Patriots wanted to draft a guard early, Su'a-Filo gave them a great reason to make him their selection.