2020 NFL Draft | Prospect film session with Fresno State guard Netane Muti


I sat down for an interview with one of the best guards in this draft class in Netane Muti out of Fresno State. He is one of the better offensive line prospects in this class who would be talked about more if it weren’t for injuries causing him to only play 19 collegiate games in four years.

To start today’s interview I asked Muti why he decided to declare for this draft class as just a redshirt junior. I also asked him if injuries played a part in him making the decision to declare:

“Yeah that was a part of it. Also this is just what I have been dreaming of since high school basically and I really wanted to take my chance and go pursue my dreams. From the injury standpoint though, I feel like you get the best of everything at the next level. Hopefully having that type of training and just the best in the world with that stuff will help me with that part of my game and keep me healthy. I feel like being in a professional environment will benefit me a lot.”

Muti missed most of this past season with a Lisfranc injury. I asked him how he is feeling now in regards to that injury and if he’d be ready for training camp (if there actually is a training camp):

“I feel pretty good and I feel ready. Now it is just waiting until we get started up again basically. It is just a waiting game now and we’ll see what happens from here. I don’t know where this virus is going to take us but right now I feel ready to go.”

Clip 1

With this clip, Muti is executing a reach block which he does to perfection here. To start, I asked him how important that first step is when performing this type of block:

“That first step right there is very important but I feel like the second step is even more important. I mean the first step is important but you got to bring that second step and drive through that player and attack the play side shoulder of his and keep driving basically. That’s how it ended up on this play at least.”

The next step of good reach block technique is hand placement and body placement. I asked Muti where his point of attack on the defender is on blocks such as this one:

“Well, really I’m just trying to get my hat to the play-side shoulder of his and he basically just turned his whole body and I just threw him back. On outside zone plays and stuff like this, I try to get my hat to the play-side shoulder of his and then bring my hands up inside and drive my legs through the block until the whistle.”

Fresno State ran a lot of outside zone and similar concepts to this last year. I asked Muti how comfortable he would be going to the NFL and playing in a zone based run scheme:

“Yeah, totally. I mean it’s not going to be anything new but I’m ready to take on whatever the NFL coach tells me to do. I’m really excited and that’s all I can say. I’m just ready to be coached.”

Clip 2

The main reason I picked this clip is because, as all you loyal readers know, I simply love legendary offensive line coach Howard Mudd. A big part of his coaching philosophy was that pass protection doesn’t have to be passive and I love how Muti attacks in pass pro rather than being passive. I asked Muti when he knows to be aggressive like this in pass pro vs when to be passive:

“You have to feel them out throughout the game. You have to give him a couple jump sets throughout the game and mix it up just so he doesn’t know what’s coming. On this particular play right here, he was on my inside shade and I wasn’t supposed to have my center’s help, so I wanted to attack. I could see in his stance that he was leaning forward and gonna come off the ball hella fast, so I tried to jump set him so I could stop his momentum from going inside because you never want to get beat inside. I basically jumped him to get him outside and on my outside shoulder so that was my plan of attack right there.”

I then asked Muti how much he likes to mix aggressive sets into his pass protection and be the attacker rather than passive in those situations:

“I mean..I like it a lot. Throughout that whole game, I was just looking for pass plays when I’m free and I can look to finish somebody. It kind of just brings joy to me basically doing stuff like that. Just being able to dominate is a big part of how I play the game. It just makes me happy, I guess. Defensive linemen always think like they can take a play off against me and I just try to impose my will against them.”

The last thing I wanted to ask about this clip was about grip strength. For a guy with shorter arms, having great grip strength is a huge way for him to find success in the NFL. I asked him just how important grip strength is to his game:

“I feel like it is very important. Most of the time when I get my hands inside, I feel like nobody can get rid of my hands when I get them locked up inside. It really helps me a lot. Getting your hands inside buy your feet time to move with defensive linemen where ever they go if you know what I mean. If they want to go left or right, having that grip strength brings your feet with you and gives you more time to readjust. So, yeah, I think it really helps having that grip strength.”

Clip 3

A big part of playing offensive line is being a mean player who finishes plays and Muti does that all the time. I asked him if he looks to finish blocks on every play:

“I try to do it on every play but I don’t want to be too aggressive and start falling on my face and stuff. Basically though, the goal is to just dominate. I just go out there with a mindset of putting people to the dirt. I just want them to feel my presence out there.”

With the rise of analytics in football, there has been a ton of debate over whether body blows matter over the course of a game. I asked Muti if he thinks body blows matter as a lineman:

“Oh, of course! Even on pass plays a lot of defensive linemen think it’s passive but I don’t take it that way. When I’m free on a pass play, I look for work and the next time that defensive lineman thinks he is getting a one on one, he’s looking around for me and giving our quarterback more time to throw. It just affects him. It makes them focus less on their job and more on the fact that I’m going to come hit him so I feel like it effects them a lot mentally.”

Clip 4

Those first three clips are great and showcase Muti’s immense skill. I wanted to transition though and talk about how he reacts when everything isn’t perfect like these next two clips. Here, he gets driven back but he readjusts and still wins the rep. I asked Muti about this play and how he is able to readjust his balance when he is being driven back:

“When I’m getting bull-rushed like that, I try to readjust by bringing my hips lower and that is how I was taught in college. Just bring my hips lower and keep moving my feet so I don’t give up as much ground. After that, you just got to stay in front of him and buy your quarterback enough time.”

I then asked him how his footwork changes on plays like this and how he adjusts that to get his hips lower:

“Yeah, you just have to know your opponent basically through watching film and feeling him out early in the game. Once he started bull-rushing me, I tried to change my level and tried to get my feet on my end steps basically and bring his momentum all the way inside of me just so I could hold him in. Something like that (laughs). It’s mostly instincts honestly so it is hard to explain.”

The NFL isn’t easy for interior offensive linemen nowadays with the talent level of defensive tackles in the league. I asked Muti just how important it is to get those ugly wins when he gets to the next level:

“A win is always good. No matter how it looks, a win is a win. All I can really do is perform at my best and give my quarterback time and let him do his thing.”

Clip 5

This last play is the ultimate ugly win but I also think it is one of my favorite plays I’ve seen this year. I asked Muti to take me back to this moment and explain what is going on during this play:

“Initially, I had called my tackle to double team with me to that backside backer and then my tackle just kind of leaves me because he sees that knee away on my defensive tackle. I’m just over here waiting for him to help me and he sees me away so he dips to the linebacker and I’m like ‘Oh no!’ (Laughs). I’m just like ‘Oh no’ because I didn’t get my help so he throws me. Once he does that, that is when it all clicks like ‘Oh no this is me, I’m supposed to stick on him.’ I just step back up and just wall him off after that (laughs). I was able to wall him off and I guess we got a good little gain right there (laughs).”

It is crazy that these types of miscommunications happen so often in football and these players are able to think on the fly and adjust to it. I asked Muti just how important it is to be able to adjust when everything isn’t going right:

“I feel like it is important for every football player to adjust on the fly. You can’t just go out there and miscommunicate and stand out there and do nothing you know. At the end of the day you gotta get a hat on somebody and just play football basically. It’s weird to explain because it’s just playing football. You never know what is going to happen so you just got to get on a body when that happens and hope for the best.”

I ended this interview with my typical question. I asked Muti what my team would be getting if they spent a draft pick on him in this class:

“You’d be getting a dominant player. I feel like my film shows a lot of how I dominate on the football field. One of my idols is Quenton Nelson for the Colts, so I try to model my game after his play style. He’s smart and physical and tough and gives you everything a guard needs. I try to imitate him and I think a lot of how I play is similar and a team would be getting a player who brings all that to their team.”