Paea, a 6'1", 300-plus-pound defensive tackle out of Oregon State was one of the more NFL-ready D-linemen available.
A consensus All-American last season for the Beavers, Paea was also named the Pac-10 Conference's Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year after making 45 tackles—including 10 for loss—adding six sacks and causing four fumbles.
The native of Auckland, New Zealand (who grew up in Tonga wanting to be a rugby player), suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee during Senior Bowl practice in January, but he seemed to be more or less back and healthy at the end of March, running a decent 5.15 in the 40-yard dash.
Strong (he set an NFL combine record with 49 reps on the bench) and good against the run, most scouts don’t seem to think his lack of football experience will work against him.
“When you're a massive, wide-bodied run-stuffer who's almost impossible to move off the line,” wrote The Sports Xchange back in March, “your playbook can probably be written on the palm of your hand.”
Draft grade: A-
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