Stephen Paea
6’1, 311 pounds | Defensive tackle | Oregon State

Pass rush: Paea possesses excellent strength to bull rush offensive linemen back into the pocket. Has a good initial burst off the line. Is mostly a straight forward rusher and his only move is power. For such a strong player, you’d expect Paea to have a good rip move. You have to wonder some about his length and how it will hinder his pass rush in the NFL.

Pursuit: Is a high effort defensive lineman who plays to the whistle. Doesn’t wear down late in games, which is a huge asset for an interior defensive lineman. Is mostly a straight ahead player and doesn’t move all that well laterally. Because of that, he may slip some in the draft to a team that strictly need a player of his style.

Quickness: Displays an excellent short-area burst. Flies off the snap with good quickness, but isn’t elite in this area. Has a strong, quick punch to beat linemen to their first move.
Run defend: Paea might not be the widest of bodies, but he is a rock in the middle of Oregon State’s defense. He anchors especially well because of his lower body strength. He’s hard to move off the line and routinely requires double teams. As a senior, Paea faced a lot of triple teams in the run game. Although he can anchor just fine, Paea’s best spot in the pros might be a three-technique in a 4-3 scheme.

Strength: Paea is known as a weight room superstar and is one of the strongest players in the draft. His strength is evident in his playing style. If Paea gets good positioning, he can throw offensive linemen around or simply drive them backward.

Tackling: Can be a devastating tackler due to his power and short-area burst. Likes to try and strip the ball when making a tackle. Holds Oregon State’s all-time record for fumbles forced.

Technique: Paea only played three years of football before starting his career at Oregon State. It shows at times in his technique. His hand use on the pass rush is inconsistent. He doesn’t always get proper position to work his man and beat blocks. Nor does he always lock his arms out. Is a technically sound anchor against the run game.

Final word: If nothing else, Paea is an entertaining player to watch. He’s a squatty, powerful defensive tackle who generates a lot of penetration. Paea has a lot of upside considering he only played three seasons of American football prior to playing for Oregon State in 2008.

Paea still has room to grow, particularly in the technical aspects of the game. His hand usage needs to improve, which it did some in 2010.

Was awarded with the Morris Trophy in 2009 and 2010. It’s given to the top defensive and offensive linemen in the Pac-10 and voted on by players. A consensus first-team All-American in 2010. Missed the final four games of the 2008 due to a bursa sack issue in his knee.