2020 NFL Draft Profile: Utah State EDGE Tipa Galeai
Galeai gave the Aggie D some swagger, but will his light frame translate to the NFL?
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Will teams invest in Tipa Time?
Tipa Galeai is undeniably gifted in one or two aspects of his position, but he’s far from the physical archetype the NFL is looking for. Fortunately for Galeai, several others who leapt successfully from Utah State into a professional career in recent years found themselves in that same position.
It’s worked out for some — Kyler Fackrell, Nick Vigil and Dallin Leavitt are each still in the league — but the further away a player veers from the “ideal” height/weight/speed/power at any position, the more risky they become. For an athlete who sparked flashes of brilliance throughout his college career this all might seem like a simple technicality, but Galeai’s 235-pound frame registered in the 28th percentile of his position and that is, to put it mildly, less than ideal.
Galeai announced himself to the college football scene in 2018, where he was employed as both a capable cover man (two interceptions, three pass breakups) and an effective edge rusher (team-best 10.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles). His impressive ability to burst around the corner didn’t go anywhere in 2019, but Galeai’s responsibilities under a new coaching staff patching together a defense full of holes varied from week to week. The result was a more tepid sack total (5, still a team-best number) with nine TFLs, 55 total tackles and a spot on the All-MWC second team.
His personal track record also includes being released from TCU in 2017 after punching two guys in a dorm fight and being found guilty of misdemeanor assault.
Galeai’s explosiveness could pique the interest of teams interested in developing him into a designated pass rusher. His height, wingspan and general ability to move like he doesn’t weigh half a ton make it hard for quarterbacks to escape his grasp. Teams interested in Galeai at the next level will like his fast footwork, fluid movement and acceleration around the edge in speed rushing situations.
You might have noticed each of Galeai’s strengths rely on how lightweight and nimble he is, making it difficult to see him setting the edge or consistently shedding blockers. Galeai doesn’t match the NFL pass-rusher profile, isn’t built for the point of attack, and will almost certainly be viewed as a project player who will have to earn his spot the hard way by developing his technique on an NFL practice squad.
Galeai has the makings of a late-round gem for the right team, but he’ll be an undrafted free agent, an end-of-roster or practice squad player, until he can prove his lack of size and power won’t be a hindrance at the next level.