Broncos Prospect Profile: Netane Muti has the talent to be a Day 1 starter

Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne (94) is blocked by Fresno State Bulldogs offensive lineman Netane Muti (52) as he tackles Fresno State Bulldogs running back Ronnie Rivers (20) at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Sep 9, 2017; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne (94) is blocked by Fresno State Bulldogs offensive lineman Netane Muti (52) as he tackles Fresno State Bulldogs running back Ronnie Rivers (20) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

When the Broncos poached offensive line coach Mike Munchak from the Pittsburgh Steelers, they landed the best line coach in the league. He’s also one that excels at taking late-round, trait-based prospects and turning them into perennial Pro Bowlers.

There isn’t a more sterling example of a late-round, developmental offensive line prospect with otherworldly traits in this year’s class than Netane Muti.

However, despite his absurd talent, he appeared in just five games after his freshman season. Will the Broncos be able to keep Muti on the field long enough to take advantage of his gifts, or will he just be another sixth-round pick?

Positives

Power. Power. Power.¬†That’s about all you need to know about Netane Muti.

Despite his lack of experience, he was able to compete with college football’s very best thanks to his tremendous strength and rare athleticism.

As a redshirt freshman, in what was just the second game of his collegiate career, Muti drew a matchup with Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne. Payne was entering his third year as a starter for the Tide and would go on to be a first-team All-American, the defensive MVP of the National Championship Game and a top-15 pick in the 2018 NFL draft, over the next seven months.

On paper that’s a Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson level mismatch, but just like Douglas, Muti more than held his own. On multiple occasions, you see Muti hit him with such force that Payne’s thrown into the air like a newborn being playfully tossed by its father.

The sixth-round pick’s strength is more than deserving of the bulk of his praise, but his mobility is worth noting as well. He’s not some lumbering behemoth without the ability to move. In fact, when the Bulldogs needed Muti to swing out to tackle he was more than willing to and didn’t look to out of place before injury cut his season short.

Negatives

As his strength is the clear focal point for Muti’s positives, his injury history is an equally obvious headliner for what the Broncos need to worry about.

In terms of talent, Muti is a second-round pick at worst, but injuries have been such a black mark on his collegiate football career he appropriately fell to the middle of Day 3.

After starting all 14 games as a redshirt freshman at Fresno State, but would play in just two games the next season, as he battled an Achilles injury, and two games in 2019 before he suffered a Lisfranc injury.

That lack of reps means Muti’s game is a little underdeveloped and his technique could use quite a bit of polish, but none of those issues appear broken beyond repair. Especially considering the fact that Munchak is in the building.

Verdict

Selecting Muti is a swing for the fences, to say the least, but in the sixth round, he was worth the roll of the dice. There’s a good chance he never plays a snap in a regular-season game, but the same could be said for most sixth-round picks. If Muti hits, you have a starting-caliber guard who has the physical gifts and the raw ability to develop into an All-Pro guard if given the right coaching.

Draft Pick Grade: A+

Player Comparison: D.J. Fluker

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