2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 2

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

With the 56th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Fili Moala
Fili Moala, DT, USC

Fili Moala, DT, USC
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 305 / 40: 5.16)

Note: The Colts traded their 61st pick in the second round along with their 5th round pick, for the 56th pick in the second round from the Dolphins.


  • ESPN.com

    Moala looks the part of an interior defensive lineman in a one-gap scheme. He's an excellent athlete who moves well laterally movement and can be effective getting down line in pursuit. However, he'll need to get stronger in order to consistently anchor against the double team on the interior.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Moala lacks sudden closing speed, but shows good lateral quickness and above average footwork, along with the agility and balance to change direction and flow down the line. He is strong on the inside gap charge and can dominate with his hand swipes. He has a nice combination of power and quickness to stack and shed. Moala might lack sprinter's legs in pursuit, but shows good body control working in space. He is a normal-to-short strider who has a good short burst to gain penetration. He still looks lanky, despite being 300 pounds and has the frame to carry at least another 20-25 pounds of additional bulk. He is quick to recognize blocking schemes and locate the ball.

    Negatives: He needs to improve his overall strength and hand usage. He lacks the foot speed to make opposite field tackles, but shows relentlessness in his play and will make the second effort when his initial move fails. He just needs to play under better control, as he does get frustrated when stood up by the blockers, but that is his own fault, as he will get too tall at times and lose leverage. He will need to add bulk and strength to compete at the next level, but does respond well to hard coaching.

    Compares To: BARRY COFIELD, New York Giants -- Like Cofield, Moala can't be judged on personal statistics, but needs to be reviewed based on the success of the team because he is a classic mauler in the middle of the field. His constant double-team battles led to USC's linebackers having great success being freed to wreak havoc in the backfield. He is quick to get position, redirect and extend his arms to stalk, wrap and secure the ball carrier in run containment. He reminds a lot of the Cofield because of his lateral agility, change of direction and dominance when he slides down and plays over the center. He still needs some technique refinement, but if he can improve his overall strength base, he will be a solid supporting role player for a defense looking for someone to handle the inside trash.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Athletic defensive lineman who displays the ability to force the action. Moves well on his feet, makes plays laterally, or knifes to the inside of blocks and gets penetration up the field. Displays an explosive first step off the snap, keeps his feet moving on contact, and shows a burst of closing speed. For the most part, plays with good lean and pad level.

    NEGATIVES: Must improve his hand technique and do a better job protecting himself. Occasionally plays tall and makes himself an easy target for blockers. More of a first move lineman who must beat blockers off the snap.

    ANALYSIS: Moala has flashed dominance the past three seasons, and he is a lineman who takes over games. He must improve the details of his position, add bulk to his frame, and develop more moves with his hands to have any chance of impacting at the next level. Moala could develop into a productive starter at the next level if the pieces fall into place.

  • Fanhouse

    The Colts wanted a guy to help anchor their defensive front, and Moala should help at least add depth up there.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Moala is an big, explosive interior lineman who will give the Colts some much-needed help inside. He possesses a good first step for his size and knows how to push the pocket, but really struggles moving laterally and wears out quickly.

  • NFL Draft Countdown


    Excellent athleticism...Very quick and agile...Good speed...Adequate size with long arms...Has a big frame with room to grow...Active and does a nice job in pursuit...Good range and mobility...Can penetrate and slice into the backfield...Productive pass rusher...Decent instincts and awareness...Versatile...Good bloodlines...Great program pedigree.


    Inconsistent and disappears for stretches...Plays too tall at times and doesn't always use good leverage...Has some trouble getting off blocks...Does not use his hands well...Needs to get stronger...Is not overly stout at the point...Some minor durability and character issues.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Athleticism, Hand Quickness, Size

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Pass Rushing Skills, Techniques and Moves

    Moala is a versatile defensive lineman who can play inside or outside, depending on the scheme. He has a great frame and could add more bulk, but he’s a strong performer. He’s quick off the line and uses his hands extremely well. He’s durable, plays with a high motor and gives maximum effort. He’s not a pass rusher and lacks explosion. He plays too high and doesn’t play with leverage.

  • Fox Sports

    Successfully capped his career with the Trojans by earning AP All-American third- team honors. Moala offers rare size, strength and surprising effort downfield. Originally signed with USC out of high school in 2003, but Moala did not qualify academically and instead attended Cypress Junior College, before transferring back to USC in 2004. Was since a consistent member of the Trojans' defensive line rotation, starting every game for the Trojans over the past two seasons, and 38 games overall. A more valuable contributor than his yearly average production (26 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks) would indicate, Moala isn't going to fill the stat sheet, but his presence inside forced opponents to double-team him often, opening up opportunities for his playmaking teammates.

  • Football's Future


    Moala is a solid all around tackle, having the ability to impact the game in a variety of ways. He has a great frame, with the room to get bigger and stronger. He plays with good leverage, and shows the ability to hold his ground at the point of attack and clog running lanes. Moala also shows the burst off the ball to get into the backfield to disrupt the action. He flashes a mean streak on the field and can be unblockable when he does.


    Moala has had some success and has had a lot of talent around him on the defensive line while at USC, but has never dominated at any point. He doesn’t toss lineman around to make the tackle, and he isn’t going to blow through the interior line of every snap to be a major disruption. He does have a tendency to get complacent on the field which causes him to disappear at times, so he will need work on playing with a more consistent motor on the field.


    Fili Moala is a good defensive tackle that can do a few things very well, but does not dominate in any one aspect. He was a victim of the hype machine, entering the year as a top ten pick on many boards. That type of hype was unwarranted, and led to a lot of people labeling him overrated. He is a solid prospect and his potential would make him a very good second round selection.