VDT: Alabama LB Henry To’oTo’o Is a Tackling Machine

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the teams in need of improved depth at the linebacker position, and because of that, there are some of the belief that they could attempt to select one of the better prospects at the position in the 2023 NFL Draft.

One of the prospects that could be in consideration here is Alabama LB Henry To’oTo’o, and he is the focus of today’s edition of the Vikings Draft Thermometer series, PurplePTSD‘s one-stop shop for all your 2023 NFL Draft needs. Throughout this series, we have examined a number of prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, what exactly their role could be at the NFL level, and most importantly, whether or not they could end up playing their first NFL snaps in a Vikings uniform. 

Background

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) is tackled by Alabama linebacker Henry To’oTo’o (10) during a football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Kns Tennessee Alabama Football Bp
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • School: Tennessee, Alabama
  • Games Watched: Tennessee (2021), Texas (2022), LSU (2022)

Statistics

Dec 4, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Henry To’oTo’o (10) celebrates with the trophy after a victory against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
  • 2019: 72 tackles, 5 TFLs, 0.5 sack, 2 PDs, 1 FR (13 games)
  • 2020: 68 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 1.0 sack, 2 PDs, 1 INT (9 games)
  • 2021: 111 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 4.0 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FF (15 games)
  • 2022: 94 tackles, 8 TFLs, 2.5 sacks (13 games)

Strengths

Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Khyree Jackson (6) and linebacker Henry To’oTo’o (10) and defensive back Jordan Battle (9) celebrate a stop of Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Tyler Scott (21) during the second quarter during the 2021 Cotton Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

To’oTo’o may only be 22 years old, but he has some of the most starting experience in the draft after immediately getting a starting position during his freshman season with Tennessee.

Because of all this experience, the linebacker has terrific instincts in pass coverage, and he can step up to help in run support as well. He’s a superb athlete as well, moving fluidly in all directions and consistently wraps up tackles.

Weaknesses

Sep 24, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Henry To’oTo’o (10) tackles Vanderbilt Commodores running back Ray Davis (2) during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest problem with To’oTo’o as an NFL prospect is his ability to shed blocks. He continuously was forced out of plays by blockers simply being stronger than him. In order to be a consistent force as a pro, he will need to be better about getting off these blocks to re-engage in plays.

Considering the draft also has massive, physical players like Drew Sanders out of Arkansas and Jack Campbell of Iowa, this sort of problem could cause him to fall down the draft boards depending on what teams value most in their linebackers.

NFL Projection

Sep 24, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Henry To’oTo’o (10) reacts after a play against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
  • Draft Round: Mid Second-Early Third
  • Immediate Role: Starting MIKE
  • Best-Case Scenario: De’Vondre Campbell
  • Vikings Draft Temperature: 35

Overall, it seems like there’s at least a decent chance that the Vikings trade down from the 23rd overall pick in the upcoming draft. If that is the case, and they move into the second round or acquire an additional pick in that range, Henry To’oTo’o could be a target for the Vikings in the draft.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

Share: