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After watching a few minutes of Vuna Tuihalamaka's highlight reel on YouTube, you get a nice sense of his skills. Though he went undrafted out of Arizona, the kid ran a 4.61 40 at his Pro Day and started all 13 games last year for the Wildcats, recording 72 tackles.
Watch his highlight reel below. If you lose him in a crowd, just look for the hair (hence, his nickname):
As an undrafted rookie, history tells us Vuna has a shot to make the final 53-man roster in September. Jacob Lacey was undrafted in 2009, and made the final roster. Melvin Bullitt accomplished this feat as well in 2007. But, unlike Lacey and Bullitt, Tuihalamaka is not a DB. He's a linebacker, and the linebacker field right now is pretty crowded, especially if the Colts re-sign Tyjuan Hagler (which is a possibility).
However, where Tuihalamaka could make his mark is on special teams and (possibly) as a back-up SAM backer. Philip Wheeler is the current starter, and while he did show improvement after taking over for Hagler near mid-season, Wheeler didn't exactly set the world on fire in 2009. At 6'2, 230 pounds, Tuihalamaka fits the new mold the Colts are looking for at SAM (Wheeler is 6'2, 240). He also has speed to go with that quickness, and a nice ability to get to ball-carriers and bring them down quickly.
If Tuihalamaka can prove he can cover, he might just push Wheeler for the starting SAM spot. Another area he can show his worth in is as a pass rusher from the SAM spot. He has the speed to get to the QB, but doesn't seem to have many moves. Maybe they can be honed. If so, that would give him an advantage over Wheeler, who himself needs to hone his coverage and pass-rushing skills.
Lots of teams showed interest in Tuihalamaka prior to the 2010 NFL Draft, and it was seemingly for good reason. The kid looks like he can play in this league. If he can hone and showcase his coverage and pass-rushing abilities prior to and during Training Camp, we may see more of "The Flying Death Squirrel" for the Colts in 2010.
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