Cowboys draft 2024: LB Marist Liufau scouting report

We continue our 2024 NFL Draft scouting reports, now reviewing players in the Dallas Cowboys newest draft class. This report is on third-round selection Marist Liufau from Notre Dame.

Marist Liufau
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
234 lbs
Hand size- 9 7/8” (63%)
Arm Length- 34 1/4” (86%)
Wingspan- 79” (90%)

Marist Liufau was given a four-star recruit rating out of high school and had ten offers before opting to enroll at Notre Dame in 2019. He would redshirt his first season then in 2020 he played in ten games for the Fighting Irish. He had 22 total tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. In 2021 he would miss the entire season with an ankle injury he sustained in practice just before the start of the season.

In 2022, Liufau started in all 13 games for Notre Dame. He had 51 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and one pass breakup. In his final year for Notre Dame, Liufau started in 12 games. He accumulated 44 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, two pass breakups and one forced fumble.

Liufau is the cousin of L.A. Rams Pro Bowl wide receiver Puka Nacua.

2023 Statistics:
595 Defensive snaps
44 Total Tackles
6 Tackles for Loss
3 Sacks
25 Pressures
22 Defensive Stops
1 FF
2 PD
2 Penalties

NFL Combine/Pro Day:
10-Yard split- 1.59s (70%)
40-Yard Time- 4.64s (70%)
Vert- 30” (11%) (PD)
Broad- 108” (8%) (PD)
3C- 7.14s (47%) (PD)
Shuttle- 4.18s (79%) (PD)


Overall- 71.9
Speed- 78
Acceleration- 79
Agility- 69
Strength- 65
Tackling- 69
Pass Rush- 67
Run Defense- 70
Discipline- 95


  • High IQ player with outstanding awareness and understanding of offensive alignment
  • Explosive first step and very hot motor
  • Elite ability in pass coverage when coverage in short zones and shows excellent route diagnosis
  • Excellent shed and scrape skills and gets into power position with good balance on run defense
  • Although undersized, shows excellent toughness and robustness to deal with the demands of playing a high snap count
  • Shows good hand counters when used on blitz packages to break through the line
  • Versatile defender in all key aspects and can line up from a range of positions


  • Fails to play with enough patience and anticipation on virtually every play
  • Not enough size and strength to beat out blocks that come into the second-level on running plays
  • Will take missteps in coverage leaving wide gaps
  • Tackling technique needs refinement. 17 missed tackles in the last two years

Marist Liufau is a smart and intelligent player. His understanding of where to be in pass coverage is outstanding and his pre-snap coordination helps his fellow defenders in the same regard. He has a great initial step from the snap and takes textbook angles when scraping to get to the ball carrier. He plays with an aggressive temperament on every play and has an insanely hot motor. He also has extensive special teams experience where he has a proven track record of making plays.

His biggest issue falls in line with his aggressive temper. He will run himself out of plays and be out of position due to his lack of patience and wanting to make the play too quickly. The other issue comes in the form of missed tackles. He’s so aggressive no matter the situation he will miss tackles, especially in the open field.

Overall, Liufau makes for an intriguing prospect with a very high ceiling given his high degree of understanding of offenses. He has good versatility and ability to play on third down in nickel packages and special teams, as well as being used on bluff-blitzes to really throw offenses into a bind. He has the skills to become a tight end eraser thanks to his good coverage skills. Liufau projected as an early Day 3 talent to play initially on special teams and sub packages on defense.

Micah Kiser, Las Vegas Raiders

Mid fourth-round grade

(Consensus ranking based on the average ranking from 90 major scoring services)


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