Motta emerged as a starter midway through his second season in South Bend, recording 50 tackles as well as an interception and a fumble recovery.
Expected to take on a greater role as a junior, Motta instead slid back, tallying just 40 stops while again showing less than ideal playmaking traits with one interception, a forced fumble and another fumble recovery. His tackles rose in 2012 as he started all 13 games, but Motta was blanked in the turnover department.
Motta looks the part "on the hoof" and is a solid open-field tackler with some coverage ability. He's talented enough to warrant Day Three consideration but the comparisons to former teammate Harrison Smith, drafted 29th overall by Minnesota last April, are off as he hasn't demonstrated the speed, instincts in coverage and ball-skills that translate in game-breaking plays.
WEAKNESSES: Better when facing the quarterback than with his back turned. Was rarely challenged over the top due to Notre Dame's terrific pass rush, hiding a lack of ideal hip fluidity and straight-line speed. Consistently tackles high and though he generally wraps both arms, can see his efforts slip away as stronger backs continue to churn their feet.
Compares to: Craig Dahl, SS, St. Louis Rams