Tavai has struggled with durability throughout his career but flashed impact ability in 2013 while rotating between outside linebacker and defensive end, recording a career-high 56 tackles, including eight for loss.
Tavai is powerful, relatively light on his feet and plays with a high-revving motor but his 'tweener traits and medical concerns mean that he needs a strong cap to his collegiate career to earn a draft selection.
07/31/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON BUTKUS AWARD WATCH LIST: John Tavai, USC...Tavai, who also was available to play both defensive end and tackle, spent most of his 2013 junior season at outside linebacker and had quite an impact when he moved into the starting lineup by mid-season. Overall in 2013 while appearing in 12 games (all but Washington State and Boston College after suffering an ankle injury prior to the WSU game) and starting 8 times at outside linebacker (versus Arizona and then in the last 7 games), he had 56 tackles, including 8 for losses of 43 yards (with 3.5 sacks for minus 29 yards). He was slowed early in 2013 spring practice while recovering from a 2012 broken foot. He made 2013 All-Pac-12 honorable mention. - USC football