Faalele Was the Combine's Heaviest Player
Nobody will tell Daniel Faalele he isn't big enough.
At 6-foot-8, 384 pounds, Faalele was the heaviest player in the modern history of the NFL Combine, according to the NFL Research database. That's a lot lighter than Faalele was when he enrolled at Minnesota, tipping the scales at 426 pounds.
Faalele's size fits Baltimore's preference for big offensive lineman who can move people off the line of scrimmage. Some pass rushers in college simply became frustrated trying to get around the brick wall that Faalele's body presents.
He Has Drawn Comparisons to Orlando Brown Jr.
Scouts have drawn similarities between Faalele and former Ravens Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown Jr., now with the Kansas City Chiefs. Faalele is flattered by the comparisons and hopes to become a standout player like Brown.
"One day I'd like to play like him, he's football intelligent," Faalele said. "He uses his strength to his advantage."
Both players are massive, but Brown is a proven starter who has shown the versatility to play both right or left tackle. Faalele is primarily a right tackle and would have to prove he could can be an effective left tackle in the NFL. However, he will likely take training camp reps at both tackle spots, and he increases Baltimore's depth at right tackle to join Morgan Moses and Ja'Wuan James.
His Pre-Draft Meeting With Baltimore Went Well
Faalele said he had a feeling the Ravens were very interested after meeting with them prior to the draft. He came away impressed with Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris, and looks forward to them working together.
"He talked about how he coached Orlando Brown before, gave me that confidence," Faalele said. "I had a feeling that we would be a good fit. I'm glad it worked out. I feel like I'm in good hands."
He Is Close Friends, And Former Roommate, With Rashod Bateman
With the Ravens, Faalele will reunite with wide receiver Rashod Bateman, a former teammate at Minnesota.
"I'm super-excited, Rashod was actually my roommate my sophomore through junior year," Faalele said. "Excited to reconnect with him and be on the same team. We have a good relationship."
Sitting Out 2020 Season Helped His Development
Faalele sat out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns but used the time wisely, losing more than 30 pounds and getting in the best shape of his life. He returned a better player in 2021 and improved his draft stock.
"Making that decision (to sit out), it wasn't easy," Faalele said. "I played a lot of football with the offensive line guys and felt I was letting them down. I didn't want them to feel like I wasn't doing anything. So I decided to lose a lot of weight, I went from 410 to 380. That just helped me to come back in better shape, be able to play longer at my best."
Born in Australia, He Started Football Late
Faalele has already made a rapid rise after a late start in football. He didn't start playing until his junior year of high school when he moved to Florida from his native Australia.
He was so unfamiliar with the rules of football, he spent his first year learning from the bench and didn't play a snap. But once Faalele got on the field, his size helped accelerate his learning curve.
Faalele's main sport growing up was rugby, but his focused turned to football at age 16.
"Being new to football gives me an advantage," Faalele said. "I have less bad habits I feel like. Whatever I'm taught from here on is what I know. I feel like the right coaching, like Coach D, getting his professional coaching can bring out the best in me."