2023 NFL Draft Profile: Nevada RB Toa Taua

2023 NFL Draft Profile: Nevada RB Toa Taua

Mountain West Football

2023 NFL Draft Profile: Nevada RB Toa Taua


2023 NFL Draft Profile: Nevada RB Toa Taua

The stout Wolf Pack running back looks to break the mold at the position as a potential NFL Draft pick.

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A good prospect in a small package?

After two members of the Nevada Wolf Pack were selected in last year’s NFL Draft, running back Toa Taua hopes to keep the program’s successes going.

A native of Lompoc, California, Taua arrived in Reno with a legacy to uphold: Older brother Vai is currently the team’s running backs coach and ranks second among the program’s all-time leading rushers. He provided the crucial counterweight in Jay Norvell’s Air Raid offense as a physical pinball, being named Mountain West freshman of the year in 2018 and eventually topping 1,000 yards from scrimmage in three of his five seasons.

Among the running backs from the Mountain West, Taua was truly one of a kind. Will that be enough to earn a phone call in the draft?

Measurables (taken from Dane Brugler)

Height – 5′ and 8 1/2″
Weight – 204 pounds
40-yard time – 4.68 seconds
10-yard split time – 1.63 seconds
Arm length – 28 1/4″
Hand size – 9 1/4″
Wingspan – 70 5/8″
Vertical jump – 32 1/2″
Broad jump – 9″ (or 108″)
Shuttle time – 4.44 seconds
3-cone drill time – 7.40 seconds
Bench press – 20 reps



Though it wasn’t always by design over the years, one thing that Taua reliably demonstrated are a soft pair of hands. In the running game, he had only six fumbles in 855 career rushing attempts (including zero in 2021 and 2022); as a receiver, Taua had a 7.4% drop rate on 192 total targets.

His low center of balance means that he won’t be taken down so easily when given the ball between the tackles, either. In five years at Nevada, Pro Football Focus credited him with 205 missed tackles forced and, additionally, NFL Draft Diamonds’ Jimmy Williams notes that he has “quality power to keep his legs pumping through contact”.


The biggest setback that Taua will face is that he doesn’t really possess breakaway speed to suit the NFL. Like Wyoming’s Titus Swen, Taua’s 85.0 Speed Score may not bode well for his chances to stick. Because he’s definitely undersized as a prospect, too, it will put pressure on his ability to block and, at Nevada, that was mostly just okay.

NFL Comparison

Kevin Faulk

Draft Prediction

After making his mark with the Wolf Pack, Taua might be the most “is who he is” of the Mountain West runners in this year’s draft class. He’s a veritable bowling ball who can be a plus out of the backfield catching pass, but it’s also clear who he probably won’t be. That makes the most likely scenario one where Taua signs somewhere as an undrafted free agent.



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