Star Lotulelei Heart Condition Hurts Draft Stock
The Utah 300-plus-pounder was not allowed to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine.
By: Nathan Rush | 2/25/13, 2:15 PM EST
Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei was not allowed to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a heart condition that was discovered during his pre-draft medical screening in Indianapolis.
Lotulelei will return to Salt Lake City for a second opinion after his most recent echocardiogram showed a low Ejection Fraction, with his left ventricle pumping at a rate less than the normal 55-to-70 percent efficiency, according to reports.
Once thought to be a lock top-10 pick — and even a viable candidate to go No. 1 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs — Lotulelei’s heart condition could result in a steep fall down draft boards.
The best-case scenario is that the irregularity in heartbeat was caused by dehydration or possibly rapid weight loss experienced by Lotulelei, who weighed in at 311 pounds in Indianapolis. The worst-case scenario is a serious medical condition that could pose a long-term health risk.
Lotulelei is just the latest elite prospect in the Class of 2013 to experience a serious setback leading up to the April 25-27 NFL Draft. In addition to Lotulelei (heart), Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (neck), USC quarterback Matt Barkley (right arm), Georgia inside linebacker Alec Ogletree (DUI) and Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te’o (Catfish) all have serious red flags.
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