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NFL Combine profile: Louis Trinca-Pasat

BY DANNY PAYNE | FEBRUARY 19, 2015 5:00 AM

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Iowa fans are very familiar with Louis Trinca-Pasat. He started 38 games over three years for the Hawkeyes, making his fair share of plays for head coach Kirk Ferentz and Company. 

Of course, that didn’t always come with ease. Trinca-Pasat got beat up badly early in his Iowa career and nearly quit, but he stuck with the program and eventually started for the Hawkeyes.

However, just because the 6-1, 291-pound defensive tackle made a name for himself in Iowa City doesn’t mean that’s the case around the NFL. Sure, it’s hard to ignore the 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks during his senior year, but his small size, among other things, makes a potential NFL career a bit cloudy.

The Chicago native is expected to go through weigh-ins and measurements today when he arrives in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. Although there aren’t any official numbers as of this writing, scouts and analysts are concerned about his size, specifically Trinca-Pasat’s arm length, or lack thereof.

“Frequently loses to size and power at the line of scrimmage, getting knocked back when run at,” cbssports.com’s Rob Rang wrote. “Short arms give him limited opportunity to grab hold of ball carriers when he is able to penetrate.”

But as noted above, it’s not all bad for Trinca-Pasat. Assuming his workout in Indianapolis isn’t disastrous, there’s a strong chance he will be a late-round pick. Various scouts and analysts like his energy and ability to use his stumpy frame to his advantage.

For example, think of Trinca-Pasat’s play in overtime against Northwestern in 2013. He had a clear shot at Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter but missed what would’ve been a game-winning sack. However, he didn’t quit on the play, and after he picked himself up from the turf, eventually ran Colter down roughly 25 yards away to clinch the game.

“[Trinca-Pasat] has a very good feel for the ball with effective lateral quickness to string plays out and close on the play,” NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler told The Daily Iowan late in Trinca-Pasat’s senior year. “He’s active to work off blocks but also has the power element to hold his ground.”

It’s that style of play that’s likely going to give Trinca-Pasat a shot to make a living with an NFL team. He has limitations physically, but the ability to maximize the assets he does have could make or break his professional career.

He’s off to a good start after totaling 3 tackles (1.5 for loss) in last month’s Senior Bowl and having a good week of practice leading up to the game.

That process is scheduled to take a critical step on Feb. 22, when Trinca-Pasat is expected to work out in front of representatives from all 32 NFL teams. He’s already taken a good first step, and a strong performance this weekend would do nothing more than push up his draft status.

“His play traits are worthy of draft consideration, but his lack of size will be something that will have to be countered with scheme,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote. “He works inside the construct of a defensive scheme exceptionally well, and defensive coaches will love his hustle.”

That hustle combined with the right fit could pay dividends for an NFL team, but Trinca-Pasat will have to fight his way, just like he did early at Iowa, to gain that familiarity with a professional fan base.


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