Offensive Tackle Sam “Samiuela” Tevi has been a multi-year starter for the Chargers at right tackle, winning the job from veteran Joe Barksdale prior to the 2018 season. He was born and raised in Euliss, Texas where he was a standout on the defensive side of the ball for Trinity High School. After being named a First-Team All-District selection as a junior in 2011, Tevi repeated the honor and was also named to the Second-Team Defense squad by the Star-Telegram Super Team. He finished his senior year at defensive tackle with 56 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, and three sacks and helped lead his team to an area championship.
Tevi started his career with the University of Utah on the defensive side, playing as a tackle in six games. He recorded nine total tackles, two for a loss, and a sack as a true freshman. After switching positions to offensive tackle, he played in all 13 games in 2014 on special and saw time on the line in three.
He won the starting job at left tackle for all 13 games as a junior before flipping sides and starting all 11 games he played at right tackle in 2016. Following the season, Tevi was invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game.
Tevi was the second offensive tackle from Utah drafted in 2017, following his teammate Garett Bolles who was a first-round selection of the Denver Broncos. After being selected with the 190th pick in the sixth round, Tevi saw a single start as a rookie but played in 14 total games on special teams.
He has since recorded 29 starts in the team’s last 32 regular season contests at right tackle and will now have a chance in 2020 to win the starting left tackle job after the Chargers signed former Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga to play his original position.
Years with team: 3
“Sam Tevi signed a 4 year, $2,561,791 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $161,791 signing bonus, $161,791 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $640,448. In 2020, Tevi will earn a base salary of $2,133,000, while carrying a cap hit of $2,173,450 and a dead cap value of $40,450.” - Spotrac.com
The best part of Tevi’s game is his ability to block on the edge and after being pulled out into space. He’s got enough athletic ability to catch up with smaller defenders and does a good job of staying on the block once he’s latched on. He’s one of the best lineman when to comes to setting up screens, as well.
Tevi has unfortunately been one of the worst pass protectors on the team since he’s been drafted. While he is one of the more athletically-capable offensive linemen on the team, he doesn’t possess the same nuance to his game. His technique just doesn’t stack up to what would even be considered “serviceable” at the position.
Normally, getting a starting offensive lineman in the sixth round of the draft would be considered a “hit.” However, I don’t think Tevi would actually start on any other team in the league.
I can't stop shaking my head when watching this play. It's even better from the All-22 angle. First, Danielle Hunter put Sam Tevi on his back and knocked the ball loose. He then managed to get up, sprint downfield and block Russell Okung. Hunter is simply not human. #Vikings pic.twitter.com/nXRwXOSdHw— Daniel House (@DanielHouseNFL) December 17, 2019
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?
Tevi will make the Chargers’ final roster as either the starter or immediate backup at left tackle. His name, alongside Trey Pipkins, are the two most associated with winning the blindside job. Even if he doesn’t win the starting job from the start, I’d expect him to see a start or two towards the beginning of the season as the coaching staff gets a better idea of which player is picking up the position faster.