Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Tommy Togiai didn’t play much during his rookie season, could he make a jump during his second season?
The Cleveland Browns didn’t get much out of defensive tackle Tommy Togiai after drafting him in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Togiai played in 125 total snaps, being a healthy inactive for most of the season, and he finished with 16 total tackles and 0.5 sacks. After a tough preseason for the rookie, it was mostly a year to forget about.
So what can we learn from looking at his film both during his rookie campaign and his time at Ohio State? Togiai is a really interesting player, in his college career he was never a full-time starter until 2020, a season that was shortened due to COVID-19. So even when you look back at his college tape there are limited reps, which leads to the raw player you saw in Cleveland last season.
During his final season at Ohio State, he seemed to get better and better that year and many thought he was the best player on the field in the playoffs vs Clemson. His strength and ability to anchor the line in the run game were really impressive.
He has a relentless motor to make effort plays against the run and when rushing the passer. He doesn’t quit on plays and works hard, those characteristics give him a real shot to make a jump in his second season in the NFL.
However, when he transitioned to the NFL he no longer had the raw strength to overpower opposing players and in turn, he struggled. Togiai doesn’t have a ton of pass-rushing moves or technique and without being a superior athlete he struggled to make a difference. With a year in an NFL strength and conditioning program, he should provide more power in the middle.
Most of the areas Togiai struggled are teachable, learning to develop a spin move he used sometimes at Ohio State should help him in the passing game. He has to work on his angles in the run game to not allow so many big plays.
Togiai showed great improvement at Ohio State, hopefully, he can replicate that in Cleveland. If he can get back to holding his ground in the middle on early downs he has the potential to be the run-stuffing defensive tackle the Browns desperately need.
Togiai has to continue to develop and learn that he just can’t outmuscle players at this level, if he can he should be a solid contributor for the Browns.