clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Broncos roster 2016: Nose tackle David Moala

New, comments

Breaking down the Denver Broncos 2016 90-man roster, one player, one post, one day at a time. Today we keep the football rolling looking at undrafted rookie nose tackle, David Moala.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of the year again. Mile High Report begins our annual 90 players in 90 days roster breakdown. Last year went fairly well, but starting today and through August 27th, we'll break down every player on the Denver Broncos roster.

Name: David Moala
Position: Nose Tackle
Height: 6'2"   Weight: 300
Age: 23   Experience: R
College: Utah State

The 2016 NFL Draft came and went, but name David Moala was not called during the three-day, seven round event.

However, once the draft ended, Moala's phone started ringing and the defending Super Bowl Champions came calling trying to recruit him to their roster.

The recruiting worked and Moala was among the 23 undrafted rookies that the Denver Broncos signed the day after the 2016 NFL Draft concluded.

Moala is a 6'2", 300lb nose tackle from Utah State. He played two seasons during his time at Utah State, and he put up some solid numbers. During his two-year career at Utah State, Moala totaled 58 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks, pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles. This past season he totaled 50 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles.

Moala was a two-time academic all-Mountain West honoree while at Utah State. He played in 21 games during his two-year career, including starting all 11 games he played in as a senior. He earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors for his 2015 season.

(Photo via John Zsiray, AP)

Now Moala will enter his first career Training Camp looking to fight for a spot on the Denver Broncos 53-man roster, or potentially on the team's 10-man Practice Squad.

It will be an uphill battle for Moala to steal a roster spot.

Veteran Sylvester Williams is your starter at nose tackle, while former Cleveland Browns first-round pick Phil Taylor and second-year player Darius Kilgo fight for the backup spot. After those three, Moala, and rookies Kyle Peko and Calvin Heurtelou will fight for a spot on the roster/Practice Squad.

Moala will need to put together a strong showing during Training Camp, and get noticed during the Broncos preseason games if he wants to stick with the team.

He will also need to stay healthy. Any time missed due to injury will really hurt his chances sticking with the Broncos.

The good:

I couldn't find a whole lot on Moala, but the little I did find I came away impressed.

He is your typical one-technique nose tackle that Wade Phillips likes to use.

Moala is explosive off the line and uses his strength to push the pocket and get into the backfield. He used these traits to total 12.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks last season for Utah State. If he can show these same skills in the NFL he has a real shot at sticking with the team in some sort of role.

After watching this cut up of Moala, I am anxious to see him on the field for the Broncos during the preseason. Hopefully, he will make the same type of plays for the Broncos.

The bad:

Again, I don't have a whole lot because it is hard to find much on Moala.

He is a little undersized, so he may struggle against double teams in the NFL, and against bigger and stronger offensive lineman.

Also, he has a history of being lazy and immature.

Moala was a recruit for Arizona State back in 2011 but was red-shirted his freshman year there. That following year, Moala was kicked off Arizona State's team.

He blamed his youth and immaturity for being kicked off the team.

"I was an immature 18-year-old in a great organization," Moala said, "which led me to getting kicked off the team in the spring of 2012."

Moala then played two seasons at a Junior College but his production was held back because of his laziness at the time. He didn't have the fight to get better and was content with his current talents.

"I was lazy and barely made it through and that was because I was okay with being just okay," Moala said. "I relied on my natural strength and technique on the field but that can only take you so far.

Once he transferred to Utah State a switch was turned and he became a much better player once he overcame his immaturity and laziness.

It's a nice success story and I hope he will continue moving on from his youthful mistakes and continue to grow into a better football player.


Moala on how his upbringing helps him in life and on the football field.

"Football is the easy part. Life is where you find your inner self and become who you are today. I have been through many obstacles and faced adversity but I never gave up because my heart and pride refuses to give up. My upbringing instilled and embedded that in me. It’s bigger than me to succeed because there are people back home I do it for and I want to be heard and seen so people can know not only my story but where I come from and the daily struggles of my people."

Roster Status:

I think he will need an injury AND a solid showing to crack the Broncos 53-man roster. Sly Williams is your starter at nose tackle, but after that there are questions.

Phil Taylor is talented but has a long history of injuries. A man of his size with knee concerns is never good. If those flare up during camp, Moala could have a shot at cracking the roster.

Second-year player Darius Kilgo looked good in limited action last season, but a poor summer could cost him his roster spot this year. He'll need to show improvement from his rookie season.

With all that said, Moala's best shot is making the Practice Squad. He will have plenty of competition for that spot, so he will fighting all summer.